About Ketamine

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Sobriety.ca Foundation is a riverside treatment facility found in beautiful rural Canada. Here, individuals struggling with Ketamine addiction have access to multiple evidence-based treatment options. Our facility provides a comprehensive rehabilitation treatment plan catered towards everyone’s needs and desires. We offer the following treatment services:

  • Detoxification from ketamine
  • Treatment for ketamine in residential settings
  • Interventions for ketamine use
  • Rehabilitation from ketamine
  • SMART Recovery

What is Ketamine?

Typically sold under the brand name Ketalar, Ketamine was discovered in the late sixties during an attempt to replace phencyclidine. Initially, it proved to be an effective anesthetic within a clinical setting. However, it became apparent not long after that the side-effects of the drug were a cause for concern. For example, patients reported vivid hallucinations, irrational behaviour, and agitated states as ketamine began to leave the body. In some cases, patients experienced psychosis. Despite this, the World Health Organization deemed it one of the most effective and safe medicines needed in the health system.

The hallucinogenic effects of ketamine quickly became sought after in recreational users. Reportedly, its popularity began on the West Coast of the United States in the late sixties and infiltrated rave culture towards the end of the century. Oftentimes, ketamine was marketed as MDMA towards inexperienced users, indirectly increasing its use. In fact, most deaths by ketamine were in young users.

What is Ketamine Addiction?

The potential for ketamine dependency has been demonstrated in various animal and human studies. In fact, rats who received ketamine by pressing a lever worked harder to receive the drug in future opportunities compared to placebo. Furthermore, an increase in subjective feelings of high were observed in healthy humans who consumed ketamine. Reportedly, ketamine has a rapid onset if smoked, injected, or snorted. Consequently, the short duration of action the drug enables binging behavior and tolerance. Furthermore, the symptoms of withdrawal are quite intense and include increased anxiety, shaking, and palpitations. In some incidences, this promotes continued as individuals seek to avoid the adverse symptoms of withdrawal.

Short-Term Effects and Risks

  • Relaxation
  • Feelings of floating
  • “Out-of-body” experience
  • Hallucinations
  • Anesthesia
  • Disorientation
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Pain
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Increased blood pressure
  • “K-hole” (I.e., detachment from reality)

Long-Term Effects and Overdose

  • Oftentimes unpredictable, as ketamine is often cut with other drugs
  • Increased depression
  • Impaired memory

Pharmacology – How does it work?

Ketamine selectively targets NMDA receptors in the brain and acts as an antagonist. More specifically, it binds uncompetitively to the dizocilpine site of the NMDA receptor. To date, the entire mechanism of action of this drug is still poorly understood. However, the binding profile of the drug and its subsequent effects on the body are better known. For example, antagonism of the NMDA receptor by ketamine is responsible for its anesthetic, hallucinogenic, and dissociative side-effects. In addition, this antagonistic binding prevents or interferes with the transmission of pain from the point of action to the brain. Albeit, again, the exact mechanisms of action are not fully understood.