Short and Long Term Effects of Ketamine

Originally developed to be an anesthetic drug, ketamine is now a drug abused commonly because of its hallucinogenic properties. It makes you feel disassociated with your environment and also provides you with some anesthetic properties that result in sedation. Its use in the medical field is quite rare these days, but many veterinary doctors still use it on animals for its sedative effects. Long term effects of ketamine can be quite serious for people who abuse the drug. Let's find out more about it.

Short Term Effects of Ketamine

It is important to know about the common signs of someone being drugged by ketamine, as it might tell you when someone needs help. The immediate effects are usually short-lived, but repeated abuse of the drug can result in serious physical side effect. The most common short-term effects include the following:

Feelings of intense power

Hallucinations

Changes in discernment

Decreased coordination

Garbled speech

Out-of-body experience

General anesthesia

Tachycardia

Increased urination

Excess salvia production

Reduced awareness

Confusion

Colorful dreams

Elevated blood pressure

Decreased focus

Sedation

Disorientation

Motionlessness

Inability to feel pain

Uncontrollable eye movements

In addition, many people end up dealing with effects like chest pain, nervousness, disorientation, flashbacks, lightheadedness, psychosis, seizures, nausea, vomiting, and paranoia. How you take the drug affects the time it takes to experience ketamine effects. You experience immediate effects when you smoke the drug. You are likely to experience effects in 5-10 minutes if you snort it. You may experience these effects in 15-20 minutes of ingesting it orally. The effects will last about a couple of hours after oral ingestion, half an hour after injection, and 45-60 minutes after snorting the drug.

What Are the Long Term Effects of Ketamine?

Persistent use of ketamine will result in several long-term effects. It is important to point out that powdered ketamine is usually cut with many other drugs, which is why it sometimes becomes difficult to predict how it will affect your system over time. Nevertheless, certain effects are always present.

  • It has an anesthetic effect, which means that you are less likely to feel much pain after you injure yourself. This is not a good thing actually. Pain is your body's way to tell you that something is wrong and you need to seek medical attention. If you suffer from a broken leg but do not feel much pain, you may not seek medical help and end up aggravating the injury. Walking on a broken leg can lead to penetration of the skin, compound fractures, nerve damage, and sepsis.
  • It can cause thickening of the urinary tract and bladder. In many cases, you need to have your bladder removed because the walls become too thin to let the urine pass through them. Over time, this can also hurt your kidneys.
  • You may experience serious side effects if you mix ketamine with amphetamines. This can cause your blood pressure to go up quickly, which can cause cardiovascular complications.
  • You will end up damaging your brain if you continue to abuse ketamine. It disrupts the normal functioning of your brain and increases your risk of sustaining permanent damage to the brain. It can also lead to coma, which is especially true in case you experience an overdose.
  • There is a greater chance of overdose when you use ketamine for long – you develop a resistance to lower doses and continue to take more to feel the high, which eventually leads to overdose and results in permanent damage to your internal organs.
  • Repeated abuse of ketamine may also damage major organs, including the brain, urinary tract, and digestive tract. You will also be putting too much pressure on the liver and kidneys, which can result in permanent damage. Memory deficits and ulcerative cystitis are the most common forms of physical harms caused by ketamine abuse.

Ketamine Dependence and Withdrawal Treatment

It is easy to notice long term effects of ketamine because you quickly become very dependent on it and want to take more to get the high. It is therefore important to seek timely help to deal with ketamine dependence. Know that you have an addiction if you have been in trouble because of ketamine use but still do not want to give it up. Moreover, if you are experiencing severe side effects, noticing problems in your relationships, and committing illegal acts, but still do not want to quit using ketamine, you need help.

Ketamine Withdrawal Treatment

Through ketamine withdrawal treatment, you will be able to stop using the drug and stay off it. You are probably going to experience some withdrawal symptoms while undergoing the treatment, but they are usually mild, as studies show that ketamine is less likely to produce a significant withdrawal syndrome. You just need to decide that you want to do something about your ketamine addiction.

  • While you do not have to worry a lot about experiencing a withdrawal syndrome, you will require close medical supervision while undergoing the treatment.
  • Similarly, psychotherapy and counseling will help in a big way. This will help you understand why you started abusing ketamine in the first place. Psychotherapy works great to improve your condition and treat stress or depression symptoms you may be experiencing during the treatment. You should also seek counseling because this will help you learn how to resist the temptation to use the drug again.

Sustained recovery is the final stage of the treatment, and is usually the hardest. You have to be very careful and avoid any triggers that push you to use the drug once again. It is important to use whatever support you can get and put every skill you have learned in treatment to use to lower your risk of having a relapse. 

 
 
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