What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is administered intramuscularly or intravenously as a general anesthetic and is typically used for minor surgical procedures where the relaxation of the muscles is not required. It is found in both human and veterinary medicine, oftentimes being referred to as horse tranquilizers. It has become extremely popular for recreational drug use and is classified as a club or date rape drug because of its hallucinogenic characteristics. You will normally find the drug circulating among teens and younger adults at parties or raves.
Medicinal and recreational uses
In humans, Ketamine exhibits a wide range of effects which includes analgesia (painkilling), anesthesia, bronchodilation, and elevated blood pressure. It is also a hallucinogen which is what makes it so popular with the recreational drug user. From a medicinal standpoint, Ketamine is used primarily for inducing and maintaining anesthesia and is oftentimes used in combination with other sedatives. It is also used in emergency medicine as an analgesic (painkiller), sedation in CCU and ICU environments, and as a treatment for bronchospasms.
Additionally, Ketamine has been found to be effective for the treatment of bi-polar disorder with individuals suffering with depression and when other anti-depressants are not effective. It produces a rapid effect for those individuals suffering with a major depressive disorder, usually acting within a couple of hours as opposed to other anti-depressants that take up to two weeks to be effective. Veterinarians will typically use Ketamine as an anesthetic, hence the nickname “horse tranquilizer.”
Effects based on dosage
Ketamine tends to be a mild if not somewhat strange type of stimulant when taken in low doses. It is classified in a group of drugs that includes DXM or nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and PCP (angel dust). When it is taken in medium to high doses, the effects become more severe as the drug becomes a paralyzing and powerful hallucinogen (psychedelic) with effects similar to that of LSD. Users claim that in high doses, it is almost like ingesting a combination of alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, nitrous oxide, and opium.
Where the long-term effects of Ketamine are concerned, the drug appears to dissociate or separate the function of the brain from the body. What results is that the brain is freed from its normal functions of reacting to the different sensations of the body. The gap that is vacated by the senses is filled by an increase in perception which gives rise to the more hallucinogenic, mind-altering effects of the drug. In low doses, blood pressure and heart rate increase. In higher doses, the opposite happens and respiratory depression may occur.
Neurological and urinary long-term effects of Ketamine
Cognitive impairments and memory problems are the most common neurological long-term effects of Ketamine and its chronic abuse. Long-term users tend to develop verbal short-term and visual memory impairment. However, the occasional use of the drug appears to be less harmful and the damage that may result appears to be reversible. However, there is still the possibility that the user will suffer with depression even though they have abstained from Ketamine use.
Urinary tract disease is associated with the long-term effects of Ketamine use according to a medical study that was conducted in Bristol, UK and published in the British Medical Journal. The main symptoms of urinary damage are:
- blood in the urine
- increased need to urinate
- leakage of urine
- painful urination
If you or a loved one has been abusing the drug and is experiencing the long-term effects of Ketamine use, the Freedom Center can customize an addiction treatment and recovery program that will target your clinical and personal needs. Please contact us today at the toll-free phone number listed above for more information.