Understanding the Dangers of a Ketamine Overdose
As a dissociative anesthetic, ketamine (aka “vitamin k” or “special k”) has some legitimate medical uses, but it is also diverted for recreational purposes and has become an increasingly popular club drug.
Ketamine use comes with significant risks. It’s easy to overdose on ketamine, and an overdose can result in serious health complications, including death.
Read on for more information about the effects of a ketamine overdose and how to get help if you or someone you love has lost control of their drug use.
Risks of Ketamine Misuse
Dissociative anesthetics like ketamine distort perceptions and cause feelings of detachment from the environment and body. Ketamine may affect how individuals perceive sight, sound, and other senses.
Effects of a Ketamine Overdose
A ketamine overdose is a medical emergency and requires immediate medical attention.
The therapeutic dosage of ketamine used for legitimate medical purposes is far smaller than the dose necessary to trigger an overdose. A person that has been using ketamine for an extended period and developed a tolerance to the drug may end up using increasingly higher doses to continue to feel its desired effects.
In addition, individuals who are unfamiliar with ketamine dosing may inadvertently take excessive doses of the drug, which could lead to an overdose.
Many people who misuse ketamine engage in a binge cycle of drug use, during which the drug is administered many times over several hours. Bingeing on ketamine significantly increases the risk of developing a tolerance and ultimately an addiction to the drug.
Tolerance to ketamine builds very quickly, prompting the individual to use dangerously high doses of the drug. Risks of overdose are much higher when bingeing on ketamine. High levels of ketamine within the body can lead to impaired motor function, high blood pressure, and respiratory problems, which can be fatal.
Mixing Ketamine With Alcohol or Other Drugs
Ketamine is often taken with other substances, like alcohol or marijuana. Combining ketamine with these substances can be very dangerous and is much more likely to lead to complications like overdose.
Whenever substances are taken together, the effects and risks of each substance may be amplified, leading to more severe health effects.
Treatment for Ketamine Addiction
Treatment for ketamine overdose involves medical supervision and supportive care. Individuals hospitalized for a ketamine overdose should be evaluated for addiction and other substance use disorders once they have recovered from the overdose.
Oftentimes, an overdose is a clear sign that someone needs help. Via comprehensive addiction treatment services, patients can stop using ketamine and other substances, and get on the path to a healthy, balanced life in recovery.
At Oxford Treatment Center, our drug and alcohol rehab facility in Etta, Mississippi, offers multiple levels of addiction care that utilize quality, evidence-based therapies.
It’s never too late to reach out for help. If you or someone you love is struggling with the devastating side effects of addiction and unsure where to turn, we are here to support you. Contact us at today.