KETAMINE OVERVIEW

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There’s no such thing as a ‘safe’ drug, especially when it’s being abused recreationally. Of course, addiction isn’t a logical disease. The disease makes it difficult for people to resist substances that cause them profound harm due to the fact that the substances will make them feel euphoria. In short, addiction hijacks the brain’s reward and pleasure pathways, effectively rendering individuals helpless to self-destructive impulses. Among the many substances that exist, depressants are surely one of the most dangerous, particularly those that have dissociative traits. A prime example is a depressant known as ketamine.

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WHAT EXACTLY IS KETAMINE?

Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, many chemists were in search of new medications that would be more effective and safer for medical use. In many cases, they were searching for anesthetics and analgesics specifically, resulting in the discovery of a wide variety of substances. At times, the substances they would develop would almost immediately change the field of medical care while other substances would be ignored for years or even decades before they were put to use. Ketamine, however, falls mostly into the former category.
Ketamine was first synthesized in 1962 by Calvin Stevens, a professor at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Initially, the drug was tested on animals with promising results as a fast-acting general anesthetic. However, it wasn’t until 1964 that the U.S. government approved the use of ketamine on human subjects, at which point researchers conducted trials using prisoners as test subjects. During these trials, a few notable traits became apparent: For one thing, ketamine was relatively fast-acting as well as short-acting, which are ideal traits for drugs used in surgical settings since such drugs are much easier to control. As well, ketamine caused very little ‘behavioral toxicity’ in patients, especially when compared to other drugs being used at the time.
Prior to ketamine, a drug called phencyclidine — better known as PCP — was being tested for its potential use as a fast-acting local anesthetic, but PCP notably triggered violent, aggressive, and/or delusional behavior in users. When ketamine was used for similar purposes, users displayed far less of the disturbing behaviors that PCP users had demonstrated previously, indicating a preferably alternative. Therefore, just a few years later, in 1970, the federal government officially approved ketamine for human use, at which point it became a popular medication for use on battlefield during the Vietnam War.

The first indications of nonmedical use of ketamine as well as the drug’s strong potential for abuse emerged during the late 1970s and 1980s on the West Coast. At the time, psychiatrists had begun using the drug in academic research, documenting the effects of ketamine intoxication on subjects. Meanwhile, recreational drug users had begun abusing ketamine since it could offer them a depressant-like experience with echoes of hallucinogen, which was due to ketamine’s dissociative properties. In the 1980s and beyond, ketamine actually gained a reputation as a ‘club drug’ for this very reason with some comparing ketamine to MDMA and ecstasy despite the fact that the latter two are actually stimulants.


Due to the rise in ketamine in Hong Kong’s dance culture, the drug continues to have strong associations with nightlife today. However, due to its qualities as a depressant, it’s become more common for ketamine to be used as an ‘after-club drug’, meaning that the drug helps users to ‘come down’ from the stimulants used while at bars and clubs. A major problem today is that ketamine is often sold unknowingly to users who believe they’re buying other drugs like MDMA and ecstasy. Although ketamine was made a controlled substance in the United States in 1999, it continues to be imported from overseas and remains relatively common today.

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EFFECTS OF KETAMINE

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Often considered a ‘sister drug’ to PCP, ketamine is a dissociative depressant, which means that it’s both a depressant as well as a psychoactive dissociative drug; however, ketamine also acts on the brain’s opioid receptors, meaning that it also has a level of opioid-like effects, further contributing to ketamine’s complicated nature. In other words, this means that ketamine has a rather odd combination of effects. When it’s compared to other drugs by its weight, ketamine has been found to be more powerful than cocaine and speed, which makes it extremely easy for individuals to overdose on ketamine. More often than not, the drug is insufflated (inhaled through the nose) or injected, but it can also be smoked and ingested. Since it’s both colorless and odorless, it’s occasionally used as a ‘date rape drug’ in the same vain as GHB.
The effects of ketamine begin rather abruptly about five or so minutes after the drug has been imbibed (unless consumed orally, which would require more time). First, a user will notice an intense relaxation that settles throughout the body, sometimes described as a fuzziness felt throughout the body. Others have described it as an out-of-body experience or like the feeling of floating in the air. Some experience hallucinations while on ketamine, which last longer than the physical effects. As well, there are often a number of negative effects, including confusion and disorientation, intense drowsiness, and an increase in both blood pressure and heart rate.

KETAMINE WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS

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When a person continues to use ketamine frequently over a period of time, he or she is at high risk of becoming physiologically dependent on the drug, which will mean that he or she experiences withdrawal symptoms after brief periods of time without ketamine. Some of the symptoms most characteristic of ketamine withdrawal include confusion, hallucinations and delusions, nausea, sudden and inexplicable anger, decrease in respiratory and cardiac functioning, hearing loss, intense fatigue, insomnia, and physical shaking and trembling.

OVERCOMING KETAMINE ADDICTION

It can be quite scary to be addicted to a powerful and dangerous drug like ketamine, but there are resources available for those in need. Typically, it’s recommended that an individual addicted to ketamine begin the recovery process with a detox program, which affords him or her a period of time during which to overcome the physical aspects of the addiction. Afterward, he or she can proceed to the treatment phase of recovery via an inpatient program consisting of individual psychotherapy, group sessions, life skills training, and other important components. The goal is to help each individual learn the skills and strategies necessary to achieve long-lasting sobriety by minimizing the potential of an individual relapsing and resuming the use of ketamine.

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Finding the right help for yourself or a loved one can be an overwhelming and stressful process. We can remove those stresses by helping you find the right rehabilitation facility. Call us now to start the road to recovery.

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Connor Barton
Connor Barton
2022-06-03
Verified
The staff here is amazing. Caring and attentive. I finally kicked the sticks and couldn’t be happier.
Jacob Rashid
Jacob Rashid
2022-06-03
Verified
So nice to have Grandma back to her old self. She has struggled with xannies for as long as I can remember. The staff were so attentive and met her where she was, not where they wanted her to be. Thank you Coastal Detox!
Tara Payne
Tara Payne
2022-05-20
Verified
I struggled with alcohol addiction for most of my life. After many tries nothing worked.It was my 43rd birthday and I wasn't gonna see 44 if I didn't get help. I called around and found Coastal. So glad I did. I am so grateful for EVERYONE there. This beautiful facility is not just a detox. They actually have programs to help you learn to live a sober life and enjoy being yourself again! Entire staff is awesome! (Ms Diana ❤️ and Mrs Karen ❤️)They really understand how your feeling as most are in recovery also. If your looking for some help please give them a call. I give them 10+stars. Five months sober now!!! Thank you Coastal!!!
Bob Hawkins
Bob Hawkins
2022-05-04
Verified
The entire staff of Coastal is great, the therapists, the nurses, the techs, everyone. It’s a great environment to begin your recovery in. As an added perk, the food is some of the best you’ll ever have thanks to the chefs.
Tony Givens
Tony Givens
2022-05-04
Verified
My experience at coastal detox was very good, the staff there is terrific. They helped me get through the process of detox in a safe and professional manor.
Jodi Silverman Goldberg
Jodi Silverman Goldberg
2022-03-21
Verified
It been almost a year!! Thank y’all
Matthew Mcnulty
Matthew Mcnulty
2022-03-07
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This is the top tier Rehab/Detox center in Southeast FL. I’ve heard nothing but good things about them. Their attention to detail is impressive. They specialize in treating alcohol abuse among several other conditions. If you or a loved one are looking for a blueprint on how to sober up…Coastal Detox will lead you there.
Mary Katz
Mary Katz
2022-02-26
Verified
My experience with Coastal has been one of empathy, kindness and family. From Admissions to Nurses to techs I have never felt so cared for. Food and drink 24/7. Coastal is a place I went twice. First time 14 days next 6days later for another 11. At 59 and umpteen detoxes Coastal by far is Heaven Sent! As a Nutritionist and Trainer, I'm so happy to be back....the Mary ,who was lost:)
vicky ehr
vicky ehr
2022-01-29
Verified
Great place . Helped me so much I am a 64 year old woman and this place got me sober with dignity and kindness. I highly recommend it plus the food is incredible. Rooms are really well laid out. 2 guys to a room . Each bed has its own t.v with head sets so you dont bother your roomate. Take an extra pillow and comfort blanket from home. At least 3 pairs of pj’ s sock and shoes and comfortable clothing fit. You do your own laundry there. I will send you the link to look at. After thinking all morning this is hands down the place for you. Lots of young people and fantastic therapists. For my wonderful son who suffers. From addiction the way I do.

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