Ketamine is a type of medication often used as anesthesia, producing feelings of relaxation, pain relief and loss of consciousness. Most people use this form of medication in medical settings, such as getting a wisdom tooth removed or other minor surgery. In hospitals, ketamine is used through injection in the muscle or used through an intravenous (IV) line. Recreationally, ketamine can be consumed orally through pill form, snorted, smoked, and mixed with other substances such as tobacco or marijuana. Ketamine has a wide variety of effects, including: drowsiness, hallucinations, confusion, delirium, agitation, nausea, slurred speech, dilated pupils, numbness, and more.

A recent study has shown that ketamine could potentially help reduce depression by the metabolite, or chemical byproduct, that occurs when the body breaks down ketamine.  The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is funding a team-led exploration of ketamine and its potential benefits towards aiding depression. However, many scientists are still skeptical and the cost to engage this form of treatment could be very costly, with Time Magazine identifying program costs as $400-$800 per infusion, and because ketamine only lasts for a short amount of time, patients would need regular treatments, costing them potentially $15,000 a year at least.

There are still several dangers involved with using ketamine: use of ketamine recreationally causes a person to become oblivious to their environment, which could place a person in danger of assault by others. Ketamine produces an increase in blood pressure as well. It’s difficult to determine an appropriate “dose” amount with ketamine, as the amount taken could easily range from adequate to an overdose. If someone becomes dependent on ketamine, the side effects can be very unpleasant. Individuals often experience insomnia, anxiety, flashbacks, and depression when withdrawing from ketamine. People often become dependent on ketamine if they attempt to achieve the first “high” they experienced and therefore “up” their doses.

Ketamine can be very helpful in medical settings, but can render dangerous in recreational use. Lack of medical supervision and an unpredictable amount used could result in harmful consequences, and dependency could easily lead to addiction. The best way to take this form of anesthesia is when prescribed by a doctor for surgical reasons. If you feel that you may be addicted to ketamine, speak with a doctor and treatment center today. By speaking with a therapist and doctor, you can begin takes steps towards your recovery today.


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