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What Are The Key Signs of Ketamine Addiction?

What Are The Key Signs of Ketamine Addiction?

Ketamine is a powerful dissociative drug that can have a range of effects on the mind and body. While it has some medical uses, ketamine is often abused as a recreational drug due to its hallucinogenic properties. Unfortunately, ketamine abuse can quickly lead to addiction and a range of physical and mental health problems.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the key signs of ketamine addiction, including physical and behavioural symptoms, withdrawal effects, and co-occurring mental health disorders.

Whether you’re concerned about your own drug use or that of a loved one, understanding the signs of ketamine addiction is an important first step towards seeking help and support.


Causes of Ketamine Addiction

The causes of ketamine addiction are complex and can vary from person to person. Some individuals may develop an addiction after using the drug recreationally, while others may become addicted after using it for medicinal purposes.

Ketamine addiction can also be caused by underlying mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD.

Additionally, environmental factors, such as peer pressure or a history of substance abuse in the family, can increase the risk of developing an addiction.

It’s important to understand the potential causes of ketamine addiction to help identify and address the root of the problem during the treatment process.


Risks and Consequences of Ketamine Addiction

Ketamine addiction can have serious risks and consequences for both the physical and mental health of an individual.

The drug can cause damage to the bladder and urinary tract, leading to chronic pain, frequent urination, and urinary incontinence. Long-term ketamine use can also lead to memory loss, cognitive impairments, and difficulty with learning and problem-solving.

Ketamine addiction can also cause mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and psychotic symptoms. It can also have negative effects on personal and professional relationships, leading to isolation and job loss.

Furthermore, ketamine addiction can increase the risk of accidents and injuries, as well as legal and financial problems. It is important to seek professional help if you or someone you know is struggling with ketamine addiction to avoid these risks and consequences.


Symptoms and Signs of Ketamine Addiction

Ketamine is a powerful anaesthetic and a popular recreational drug. When used in larger doses, it can lead to addiction. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of ketamine addiction is the first step towards getting help.

Some of the key signs of ketamine addiction include a strong desire to use the drug, increased tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, and social and occupational problems.

One of the most common signs of ketamine addiction is a strong craving for the drug. Individuals addicted to ketamine will often prioritise getting and using the drug over other responsibilities and interests.

They may spend large amounts of money on ketamine and may be unable to quit or cut back even when they want to.
Another sign of ketamine addiction is increased tolerance. This means that over time, a person needs to use more and more of the drug to achieve the same effects. This can be dangerous as it increases the risk of overdose and other health complications.

Withdrawal symptoms are another indication of ketamine addiction. When someone addicted to ketamine tries to stop using the drug, they may experience symptoms such as anxiety, depression, irritability, and insomnia.
These symptoms can be severe and make it difficult for the individual to quit using the drug without professional help.

Finally, ketamine addiction can lead to social and occupational problems. A person may start to neglect their work, school, or relationships in favour of using ketamine. They may experience financial difficulties due to their drug use and may withdraw from their loved ones or social activities.

If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms and signs, it may be time to seek professional help for ketamine addiction.


Diagnosis of Ketamine Addiction

Diagnosing ketamine addiction involves a comprehensive evaluation of the individual’s physical and psychological health.

A healthcare professional or addiction specialist will ask questions about the individual’s drug use, medical history, and mental health symptoms to determine if ketamine addiction is present. Physical exams, laboratory tests, and psychological assessments may also be conducted to gather additional information.

It is important to note that individuals who have developed a tolerance to ketamine or experience withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use may have a physical dependence on the drug, which can complicate the diagnosis and treatment process.

A healthcare professional may also evaluate for co-occurring mental health disorders, as ketamine addiction often occurs alongside other conditions such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

A diagnosis of ketamine addiction is made according to specific criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

These criteria include ongoing use of ketamine despite negative consequences, difficulty controlling drug use, and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using ketamine.

A healthcare professional or addiction specialist can use these criteria to determine if an individual meets the diagnostic criteria for ketamine addiction.


Treatment of Ketamine Addiction

Treatment of Ketamine addiction involves a comprehensive approach, including detoxification, therapy, and aftercare support. Here are some of the treatment options for Ketamine addiction:



Detoxification is the first step in the treatment of Ketamine addiction. It is the process of removing the drug from the body. The process can take a few days to a few weeks, depending on the severity of the addiction.



Therapy is an essential part of Ketamine addiction treatment. It helps to identify the underlying issues that led to addiction and develop coping strategies to prevent relapse. The therapy can be individual, group, or family-based, depending on the patient’s needs.


Speak To An Expert

If you are looking to get yourself or a loved one into rehab to overcome ketamine addiction, contact our team at Rehab Centres UK as we can find the right rehab centre for your needs.

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas is UK's go-to man on addiction-related matters for the national press, TV and Radio. He has consulted for many private addiction rehab centres throughout the years and set up one of the largest addiction advisory services in the UK.