Home » How Addictive Is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) for inducing anesthesia in humans and animals. Some physicians prescribe ketamine off-label for the management of treatment-resistant depression.
Ketamine is categorized as a Schedule III controlled substance by the DEA (U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration). Substances under this schedule have some therapeutic benefits combined with a potential for physical and psychological dependence, especially in the event of ketamine drug abuse.
Many ketamine users have questions like “Is ketamine habit forming?”, “Can you get addicted to ketamine?”, and “How addictive is ketamine?”.
This guide to Ketamine drug addiction explores these questions and shows you how to connect with evidence-based treatment for ketamine addiction.
Ketamine, like all Schedule III substances, is associated with low to moderate physical dependence, as well as high psychological dependence.
Those who abuse illicit ketamine experience effects that are euphoric but fleeing, with tolerance to the substance forming following sustained use. As the effects induced by ketamine diminish, you will require more of the drug to achieve the initial effects. Increasing your consumption of ketamine is liable to speed up the development of physical dependence. If you become physically dependent on the drug, aggravating withdrawal symptoms will present if you moderate or discontinue use.
Ketamine and addiction are linked in several ways. These include:
Ketamine abuse may lead to the development of both physical and psychological dependence.
Research shows that those who abuse ketamine for nonclinical purposes report two primary reasons for continuing to use ketamine:
Is ketamine highly addictive, though?
In terms of its addictive potential, ketamine is generally considered less addictive than drugs like opioids, cocaine, and amphetamines. That said, the dissociative effects of ketamine can make it appealing to many users, and repeated use can lead to addiction in the form of ketamine use disorder.
Addiction is a complex condition that is contingent on multiple factors, including genetics, environment, and individual characteristics. This means it is difficult to make generalizations about the addictive potential of a drug for all users.
DEA reports that Schedule III drugs may lead to either:
Ketamine can be physically addictive, as repeated use can lead to tolerance and dependence. Tolerance means that the user needs to take increasingly larger doses of the drug to achieve the same effects, while dependence means that the body has become used to the presence of the drug and experiences withdrawal symptoms when it is stopped.
Withdrawal symptoms from ketamine can include cravings, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and cognitive difficulties. These symptoms can make it difficult for individuals to quit using ketamine, and they may continue to use the drug to avoid the discomfort of withdrawal.
Not everyone who uses ketamine will become physically addicted, but it often occurs as a result of sustained use.
Ketamine dependence refers to a state in which the body has become accustomed to the presence of ketamine and experiences withdrawal symptoms when the drug is stopped.
Dependence can occur even when the drug is taken as prescribed for medical purposes. Symptoms of ketamine withdrawal can include anxiety, depression, irritability, insomnia, and cravings for the drug.
Ketamine addiction, on the other hand, is a more severe condition that involves compulsive drug-seeking behavior and continued use of ketamine despite negative consequences. Addiction is characterized by a loss of control over drug use, with individuals continuing to use the drug even when it causes problems in their personal or professional lives.
While ketamine dependence can lead to addiction, not all individuals who are dependent on ketamine will develop an addiction. Addiction is a complex condition that depends on multiple factors, including genetics, environment, and individual characteristics.
The symptoms of ketamine addiction are outlined in DSM-5-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition).
Some common treatment options for ketamine addiction include:
Special K drug addiction refers to a condition in which an individual has become addicted to ketamine and experiences compulsive drug-seeking behavior and continued use of ketamine despite negative consequences. Special K addiction is characterized by a loss of control over drug use, with individuals continuing to use the drug even when it causes problems in their personal or professional lives.
If you have become addicted to ketamine, we can help you fight back here at Gratitude Lodge in Southern California.
Begin your recovery with a supervised medical detox program at our pet-friendly treatment center to streamline ketamine withdrawal. After addressing the issue of physical dependence, you can transition directly into one of the following drug addiction treatment programs:
All Gratitude Lodge treatment programs provide individualized therapy that may include:
Call Gratitude Lodge today at 888-861-1658 and move beyond ketamine addiction.
Use Our 24 Hour text line. You can ask questions about our program, the admissions process, and more.