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  • Ketamine is a dissociative hallucinogenic drug that can alter thoughts, feelings, and awareness of surroundings. Although people use ketamine to experience a “high,” it is also used as an anesthetic in humans and animals. 

    Chronic use of ketamine may lead to physical dependence, which can result in withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it. Withdrawal symptoms typically last up to six days, depending on how much and how often you use. 

    Ketamine Withdrawal Timeline

    After chronic use of ketamine, you may become physically dependent. Physical dependence means your body relies on the substance to function and without it you may experience withdrawal symptoms. 

    Factors that may affect the duration and intensity of withdrawal include:

    • how long you’ve used ketamine
    • frequency of use
    • age
    • metabolism
    • health

    First Stage Of Ketamine Withdrawal

    As the effects of ketamine wear off, you may experience a “comedown.” This period of withdrawal usually occurs during the first 24 hours after stopping ketamine use. 

    During a ketamine comedown, you may experience the following side effects:

    If you do not continue using during a comedown, you will likely experience further withdrawal symptoms. 

    Second Stage Of Ketamine Withdrawal

    Following the comedown, you may begin to experience intense cravings for ketamine. You may also experience an increase in both psychological and physical symptoms. These symptoms usually last between 4-6 days. 

    During the second stage of ketamine withdrawal, you may experience the following symptoms:

    • cravings
    • decreased appetite
    • fatigue
    • chills
    • sweating
    • restlessness
    • tremors
    • nightmares
    • anxiety
    • depression
    • rapid heart rate
    • mania

    Ketamine dependence is associated with depression, psychosis, and mania in some people. These symptoms may be harmful and require medical attention. Medical detox can help you manage symptoms of withdrawal in a safe environment. 

    Ketamine Detox

    Although ketamine withdrawal is not typically life-threatening, it is not recommended to quit any substance on your own. A detox program can provide you with a safe and supportive environment under the care of medical professionals. 

    Benefits of choosing medical detox include:

    • 24/7 supervision from healthcare professionals
    • monitoring of physical and psychological symptoms
    • medications to ease symptoms, if necessary
    • keeping you comfortable during the difficult detoxification period
    • helping you transition into a residential treatment center

    Ketamine Addiction Treatment

    Long-term dependence on ketamine can become a substance use disorder, also known as addiction. Addiction can impact every area of your life, especially your mental health and well-being. 

    Following detox, you may choose to continue with a long-term treatment program. Residential or outpatient treatment can help you overcome ketamine addiction and improve your quality of life. 

    If you choose to continue with professional substance abuse treatment, a healthcare provider can help you create a personalized treatment plan. This treatment plan can address your specific needs according to the severity of your addiction. 

    Residential/Inpatient Program

    Residential treatment provides a highly structured environment with 24/7 access to healthcare professionals. By living at the treatment facility, you are removed from potential triggers and environments you may associate with your addiction. foverdose

    Depending on your treatment plan, you may be provided with behavioral therapy, counseling, and peer support groups. Many residential treatment programs also provide activities that promote a healthy lifestyle, including yoga and meditation.

    Outpatient Program

    Outpatient programs give you the convenience of living at home and traveling the facility for treatment sessions. You will likely be given a schedule of weekly treatment sessions up to five days a week. 

    Behavioral Therapy

    Ketamine dependence and withdrawal is associated with several psychological symptoms. Although there are no FDA-approved medications to treat ketamine dependence, behavioral therapy is highly effective. 

    This type of therapy will teach you to identify negative thought patterns and behaviors and learn healthy coping skills. Behavioral therapy also helps you learn to identify triggers and how to cope with cravings. 

    If you or a loved one is looking for more information about ketamine addiction treatment, please contact Ark Behavioral Health to speak with a specialist.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2023 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Alcohol And Drug Foundation - Ketamine
    National Institute On Drug Abuse (NIDA) - Hallucinogens DrugFacts
    National Library Of Medicine - Mania Following Ketamine Abuse
    PubChem - Ketamine
    PubMed - Ketamine Users Have Higher Rates Of Psychosis And/Or Depression

    Medically Reviewed by
    Davis Sugar, M.D.
    on July 9, 2022
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