Ketamine, one of a handful of commonly used dissociative-type hallucinogens, acts as an anesthetic agent, but can also produce hallucinations when used for recreational purposes. As a recreational drug, ketamine’s addictive potential far exceeds its potential for physical dependence, though it’s addictive effects accomplish the same end: driving continued drug use, according to Brown University Health.
Ketamine drug cravings develop out of the drug’s addictive effects in terms of how it warps a person’s priorities and motivations. Ketamine addiction treatment helps a person address the underlying issues that fuel drug cravings and drive compulsive drug-using behaviors. Ultimately, developing the type of mindset that doesn’t need ketamine to cope with daily life becomes the overall goal of ketamine addiction treatment.
How Ketamine Drug Cravings Work
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, ketamine effects result from the surge of neurotransmitter chemicals that flood the brain with each drug dose. In general, a drug’s addictive potential lies in its ability to alter the brain’s chemical makeup over time.
If you use ketamine on a regular basis, chemical imbalances will eventually start to impair the brain’s reward system functions. For the most part, this system determines your priorities, motivations and overall mindset based on the types of experiences had from day to day. In effect, repeated surges in brain chemical levels “teach” this system to crave ketamine and give it top priority in your day-to-day life.
Ketamine Addiction Treatment
While ketamine may not produce much in the way of physical dependence, stopping drug use can still bring on certain uncomfortable withdrawal effects, some of which may persist for months into the recovery process. Ketamine addiction treatment starts at the detox stage where you may receive medications to help lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms, according to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration. Detox treatment also begins the process of working through issues that aggravate drug cravings and compulsive drug use.
Behavioral-based treatments focus solely on helping you “retrain” the brain reward system. Ketamine addiction treatment uses a range of behavioral therapies to help identify addiction-based thinking and behavior while developing healthy strategies for coping with daily life without the need for drugs.
Therapies commonly used in ketamine addiction treatment include:
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – learning stress management techniques
- Interpersonal Therapy – learning healthy ways of managing conflict and expressing difficult emotions
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – identifying addiction-based thinking patterns and behaviors
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy – works with mindfulness techniques to promote emotional stability
Social supports play a central role in the ketamine addiction treatment process, enabling a person to learn from the experiences of others while working through the daily challenges that recovery brings. Social supports include 12 Step support groups, getting a sponsor as well as enlisting help from friends and family. Ultimately, overcoming drug cravings has more to do with the choices you make when the urge to use is strongest. A strong social support system can prove invaluable in this respect.
Drug cravings can quickly undermine a person’s recovery efforts, especially during times of stress. Overcoming drug cravings means undoing the damaging effects of ketamine on how the mind thinks and reacts to daily life stressors. Getting needed ketamine addiction treatment help can go a long way towards eliminating the source of cravings and learning how to live a drug-free lifestyle.
If you have any questions or need information on ketamine addiction treatment programs in your area, please feel free to call our toll-free number at 800-592-1193.
- Related Articles