Ketamine withdrawal is a concern among those who are addicted to the drug. Is ketamine withdrawal severe? Will the symptoms be bad? If you’re trying to quit using ketamine, read on to find out what to expect, and the symptoms of ketamine withdrawal.
Ketamine is a a Schedule III controlled substance, because it’s shown to be addictive. You can read more about ketamine addiction elsewhere on Addictive Addiction.
Ketamine withdrawal, though, will not have as many nasty symptoms as some other drugs. Codeine and oxycodone, for example, are tough to beat. Heroin and meth will also cause difficult transition symptoms.
We’ll look a bit more at the timeline of ketamine withdrawal later on this page, but you should first know about the symptoms you may experience. Of course, everyone is different, and your symptoms may vary depending on your weight, your body and your use of ketamine.
In short, though, here’s what you can expect:
- Fatigue, and sometimes sleeplessness
- Heavy sweating
- Loss of appetite
- Nightmares or lucid dreams
- Changes in your heartbeat, arrhythmia
- Anxiety and depression
What is Ketamine Withdrawal?
Addiction to ketamine is mainly psychological. That means that, even though the drug will interfere with your brain function, there aren’t many physical factors affecting your body.
Because of the way ketamine affects your brain, the most dangerous aspect of withdrawal by far is severe depression. Suicide is common in those going through ketamine withdrawal, and depression and anxiety are almost guaranteed throughout the process.
Because you may find yourself at an increased risk of suicide, please talk to a doctor or another professional about the possibility of getting help for your addiction. Your therapist, doctor, or other professional can guide you through the process. They’ll make sure you stay safe as your body gets accustomed to the lack of ketamine.
Will I Develop Ketamine Withdrawal?
The risk of ketamine withdrawal will depend upon your use of the drug. Both physical and psychological factors will impact your withdrawal symptoms. However, it’s safe to say that you will likely experience some withdrawal symptoms.
Ketamine Withdrawal Timeline
Overall , the ketamine withdrawal timeline isn’t as long as some other drugs. For example, withdrawal from oxycodone can take a week or more. LSD users suffer flashbacks for the rest of their lives.
Ketamine withdrawal, however, will usually only take between 2 to 4 days. That depends a lot on your body, and your metabolism.
During the first two days that your body is without ketamine, you can expect the following:
- Dizziness when you stand
- Blood pressure variations, from high to low
- Severe headaches
- Muscle pain and tension
- Fast or irregular heart rate
You may experience vomiting, too. Remember that this is just a part of the process, and it will end soon!
Help with Ketamine Withdrawal
There are a few reasons why you should consider getting help with ketamine withdrawal instead of choosing to be alone. First of all, seizures are a possibility. If you suffer a seizure, having someone nearby can help to ensure that you stay safe.
Secondly, during the first few days of ketamine withdrawal, you’re going to have strong cravings for the drug. Having a friend or a professional with you can help to make sure that you stay on the path to beating your ketamine addiction.
Finally, remember that the risk of suicide is great in those who are kicking the ketamine habit. You’re going to feel depressed, most likely. You may feel anxious. Please consider having a friend nearby to help keep you from harming yourself.
Drugs are a dangerous thing in that you can’t always predict what they’ll do to you, psychologically. You may think to yourself today, “I would never cause myself any harm!” But once the drugs begin to leave your system, your brain will go through changes.
Using Medications to Quit Ketamine
Sometimes drugs are prescribed for ketamine addiction. That happens most likely in an inpatient situation. Your doctor or other professional may prescribe medications to assist with blood pressure medication, anti-depressants or other pills.
If your doctor or therapist thinks it’s safe to undergo ketamine detox outside of a detox center, you likely won’t be prescribed medication. However, it’s probable that you’ll have to check in regularly, either with your doctor or with a therapist who specializes in the treatment of addiction.
Other Tips on How to Quit Ketamine
Overcoming drug addiction is hard. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve found yourself addicted to meth, heroin, LSD or even marijuana. There are so many psychological factors which play into your addiction, it may seem impossible to quit.
Remember that it is possible. Drug addiction is directly related to your lifestyle, and the choices that you make will impact your ability to quit. We don’t mean that to sound condescending. What we mean is that triggers from your “old life” may need to be eliminated.
If your ketamine addiction is centered around friends who also use the drug, stop seeing those friends. Continuing your relationship may make your ketamine withdrawal that much worse, as you’ll find yourself craving the substance that much more.
It can’t be stressed enough that ketamine withdrawal can lead to depression and suicide. It’s so important to have people you love around you to make sure that nothing serious happens.
Feel like you’re alone, and that you don’t have anyone who can help? Contact your local Department of Social Services or whichever social care office your country has. Unless you’re a risk to others, they’re required to treat your case with confidentiality. They’ll offer you the help you need, or direct you to a resource which can.
Ketamine withdrawal isn’t considered to be one of the “toughest” of drugs. But we won’t lie. It’s hard. It will take determination to overcome your addiction, and it may take professional assistance to do it in a safe way. You can do it; once you get through the first few days, you’ll see what we mean.