Ketamine is a medication typically used as an anaesthetic for surgeries. It is also sold illegally as a party drug for its hallucinogenic and dissociative effects. Some people who use ketamine regularly can develop a dependence on the drug, which can lead to withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit.
If you take ketamine consistently for a prolonged period of time, you are likely to face withdrawal symptoms. These consist of a range of mental symptoms such as anxiety, depression and paranoia. These symptoms will eventually go away, as long as you do not take any more ketamine.
Read on to find out the details involved in ketamine detox, how you can perform ketamine detox at home, and the benefits of detoxing at Providence Projects treatment facility.
Detoxing from Ketamine
Detoxing from ketamine is essential because it helps your body rid itself of the drug and its metabolites. It also allows your body to readjust to functioning without the drug. Detoxing can be done at home or at a treatment facility. Home detox involves gradually reducing your ketamine use over a period of time. Treatment facilities offer detox programmes that usually last for a week or more. These programmes provide medical supervision and support, which can help make the detox process easier.
Detoxing from ketamine can be difficult because of the drug’s effects on the brain. Ketamine affects the way the brain processes information, which can lead to changes in mood and perception. These changes can make it difficult to think clearly and make decisions. As a result, people who are detoxing from ketamine may experience anxiety, depression, and paranoia. However, these symptoms will eventually go away as long as you do not take any more ketamine.
How is a Ketamine Detox Performed?
There are a few different ways to treat ketamine dependence and withdrawal. One common method is tapering, which involves gradually reducing the dose of ketamine over time. This can help minimise withdrawal symptoms and make it easier to quit using the drug. If you are addicted to ketamine, this method can be challenging as once you start getting down to a low dose, there may be a temptation to increase your dose again.
Another option is detoxification, which involves going through a supervised programme that helps people safely detox from ketamine. While this style of detox can be slightly more difficult than a taper, there is a far greater chance of success.
A ketamine detox is performed by making the client as comfortable as possible. While medication is not required, drugs like Valium (diazepam) are sometimes prescribed to reduce symptoms of anxiety.
You can either detox at home or at a treatment facility. If you choose to detox at a treatment facility, you will be monitored by medical staff who can help manage any withdrawal symptoms you may experience. Treatment facilities also provide support and resources that can help you through the detox process.
If you or someone you know is struggling with ketamine addiction, it’s important to know that there are ways to detox from home, but this will not treat the root cause of addiction. Here are some tips:
- Make sure there is no ketamine in the house. This may seem obvious, but it’s important to get rid of any temptation. Delete any ketamine dealers’ numbers from your phone and get rid of any leftover stash.
- Make sure you have healthy food in the house. Eating nutritious meals will help your body heal and give you the energy you need to detox.
- Make sure you do not have to work. If possible, take a few days off from work or school to focus on your recovery.
- Have someone who can support you. It’s important to have a friend or family member who can offer emotional support during this difficult time.
- Have legal sleeping tablets to help sleep. Insomnia is common during ketamine withdrawal, so it’s important to have something to help you sleep. Note that you will probably not have access to sleeping tablets that are as strong as the ones that you would be prescribed in rehab, but they may be somewhat effective.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated is crucial for recovery, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of water or juice throughout the day.
- Avoid alcohol and other drugs. It’s important to avoid using other substances during detox, as they can make withdrawal symptoms worse.
- Seek professional help if needed. If you’re struggling to detox on your own, there are professional treatment options available.
Detoxing from ketamine can be difficult, and there is a risk of relapse. If you experience any severe withdrawal symptoms or if you feel like you are struggling to cope, it is important to seek professional help. Residential treatment may be the best option in this case.
In a Treatment Facility
If you choose to detox from ketamine at The Providence Projects you will be monitored by medical staff who can help manage any withdrawal symptoms you may experience. Treatment facilities also provide support and resources that can help you through the detox process. Being monitored at this early stage of recovery is important. While ketamine withdrawal is unlikely to be dangerous, the ketamine you had been taking may have been cut with another drug which could have potentially fatal effects. Having staff on hand who can monitor you and act accordingly could ultimately save your life in this situation.
There are two main types of medications used to treat ketamine dependence and withdrawal: Benzodiazepines and Antidepressants. Benzodiazepines such as chlordiazepoxide (Librium) or diazepam (Valium) are typically used during detox to help with symptoms of ketamine withdrawal such as anxiety, agitation, and insomnia.
Antidepressants such as fluoxetine (Prozac) or sertraline (Zoloft) may be used after detox to help with the symptoms of Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS), which can include depression, anxiety, and sleep problems.
Benzodiazepines are usually only utilised for the first few days of detox, as they can be addictive and lead to dependence if used for too long. Antidepressants may be used for several weeks or months after detox to help with PAWS symptoms.
Detoxing from ketamine in a treatment setting can be beneficial, as staff can help to address any underlying mental health issues that may be contributing to the addiction. People who take ketamine often take it as they are unwittingly self-medicating for a mental health problem. When ketamine use is ceased, these mental health problems may become more apparent. Staff at a Providence Projects treatment centre may be able to accurately diagnose a mental health problem that comes up.
This can help as it may be possible to provide medication based on a diagnosis, and you can receive support for any mental health issues that arise in your one-on-one counselling sessions.
If you are struggling with an addiction to ketamine, seeking professional help is the best course of action. A Providence Projects treatment facility can offer you the support and resources you need to safely detox from ketamine and begin your journey to recovery.
Ketamine Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms can occur when someone suddenly stops taking a drug that they have been regularly using. Withdrawal is the body’s response to an abrupt decrease in the amount of a substance it is used to having. These symptoms can range from mild to severe, and they typically last for a few days to a week. However, in some cases, withdrawal symptoms can last for months or even years.
Withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on the drug that is being discontinued. For example, someone who suddenly stops taking alcohol may experience anxiety, shaking, and hallucinations. Someone who abruptly stops using heroin may experience flu-like symptoms, vomiting, and diarrhoea.
Withdrawal symptoms from ketamine include:
- Agitation: Stopping ketamine can make you feel agitated for a while. You may have difficulty staying still.
- Nausea: Stopping ketamine can cause nausea and vomiting. Nausea tends to come in waves and doesn’t last long.
- Bladder pain: You may experience pain in your bladder and urinary tract when you stop taking ketamine. This can be extremely painful and may make it difficult to urinate.
- Blood in urine: You may notice blood in your urine when you stop using ketamine. This is usually not a cause for concern, but if it persists, you should see a doctor.
- Pain throughout the body: You may experience aches and pains throughout your body when you withdraw from ketamine. This is often described as a ‘body load’ and can be very uncomfortable.
- Panic attacks: Some people experience panic attacks during ketamine withdrawal. These can be very frightening, but they will eventually subside.
- Severe anxiety: Many people feel anxious when they stop taking ketamine. This may be due to the return of underlying anxiety or it may be a result of the withdrawal itself.
- Depression: Depression is a common symptom of ketamine withdrawal. This may be due to the return of underlying depression or it may be a result of the changes in brain chemistry that occur when you stop taking ketamine.
- Psychosis: In rare cases, people may experience psychosis during ketamine withdrawal. This can include hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical help immediately.
How Long Will Withdrawal Symptoms Last?
Withdrawal symptoms from ketamine are dependent on a number of factors. First, the length of time that you have been using ketamine will play a deciding role in how long you feel withdrawal symptoms. Secondly, the amount that you have been taking will be important. If you have been taking large amounts of ketamine, you may also experience a more intense withdrawal when you stop taking the drug.
How often you were taking ketamine is also important for determining how long you are likely to feel withdrawal symptoms. If you were redosing frequently, expect to have longer and potentially worse symptoms. Your physical and mental health can also affect your experience of withdrawal. If either of these is poor, you may have more severe withdrawal symptoms. All this being said, the average amount of time for the acute stage of ketamine withdrawal is about 7 days. After this, you may also experience Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS), which are not as strong, but can last for many months.
When someone detoxes from ketamine, they may experience a range of symptoms that can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. These symptoms, known as Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS), can include anxiety, insomnia, and depression. In order to help ease PAWS symptoms, there are a number of things that can be done.
Exercise is a great way to help ease PAWS symptoms. It releases endorphins, which can help improve mood and reduce stress. The choice of what exercise to do is up to you. Some people find that PAWS symptoms reduce more when they are lifting weights, other people find that running is better, still others prefer practising yoga. Exercise in whatever way works for you.
Eating healthy is also important during ketamine detox. Eating nutritious foods helps to reduce stress and improve overall health, both of which can help minimise PAWS symptoms. Make sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of caffeine.
Getting plenty of good quality sleep is also crucial for reducing PAWS symptoms. Most people need around eight hours of sleep per night. Consider going to bed and waking up at the same time each day to help regulate your body’s natural sleep cycle. Avoid drinking caffeine late in the day as well as using electronic devices before bed.
Having a healthy support network is another important factor in reducing PAWS symptoms. Talk to close friends or family members about what you’re going through and ask for their support. If you don’t have a supportive network, there are many online communities that can provide support and understanding. Limiting stress is also key to minimising PAWS symptoms. Consider taking up meditation or yoga to help you relax. Avoid drinking alcohol and using recreational drugs, as they can worsen PAWS symptoms. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, talk to a friend or counsellor about what’s going on in your life. Whatever withdrawal symptoms you experience, know that as long as you do not take ketamine any more, these symptoms will improve.