Ketamine Addiction and Recovery Facts
What Is Ketamine?
Ketamine is an anesthetic that is used for both humans and animals, particularly in emergency or trauma situations. But it is often abused for its dissociative effects, such as auditory and visual distortions. Those who abuse ketamine usually snort it, but it can also be injected.1
Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic drug approved for use in animal and human surgery. The drug’s therapeutic purpose is to induce unconsciousness, numbness, and memory loss while maintaining adequate blood pressure and respiratory reflexes.2
Ketamine has a number of desired and adverse effects on the mind and body, some of which can be dangerous.
Signs and Symptoms of Addiction
A ketamine addiction (diagnosed as ketamine use disorder) is defined as a maladaptive pattern of ketamine use that causes distress in the individual’s life. The signs and symptoms include: 8
- Ketamine is taken in amounts that exceed or for lengths of time greater than originally intended.
- Inability to quit or cut back on ketamine use.
- Spending an inordinate amount of time getting and using ketamine, as well as recovering from its adverse effects.
- Strong cravings to use ketamine.
- Persistent ketamine use resulting in home, work, or school ramifications.
- Continuous ketamine use regardless of interpersonal or social difficulties exacerbated or caused by the drug.
- Reduced involvement in occupational, social, or recreational activities.
- Repeated ketamine use in dangerous situations, such as driving a car.
- Continued ketamine use in spite of mental and physical problems worsened or caused by the substance.
- Tolerance: more ketamine is needed to “get high” and the same amount of ketamine elicits a diminished effect or intoxication.
An individual must exhibit at least 2 of the above symptoms within a 1-year period to be diagnosed with an addiction to ketamine.8
Find Treatment for Ketamine Addiction
If you or a loved one is suffering from a ketamine addiction, call our helpline at to speak to an addiction support specialist about treatment options.
American Addiction Centers has helped thousands recover from addiction and we can help you or your loved one too. Check your insurance to find out instantly if your insurance provider may be able to cover all or part of the cost of rehab and associated therapies. You can also sign up 24/7 text support for addiction questions at your convenience.