Ketamine Addiction Treatment: A New Life After Ketamine Rehab

Last Updated: April 2, 2021

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

Addiction to ‘harder’ drugs, such as methamphetamine or heroin, tend to take the spotlight over ketamine addiction – but that doesn’t discredit the seriousness of an addiction to the drug. Many users – even casual users, who at first enjoyed using the drug occasionally at parties – have had to seek ketamine addiction treatment.
Understanding how to help the addiction of ketamine users is vital for both physicians or caregivers and drug users. While ketamine abuse treatment is similar than the treatment of other drug addictions, the underlying mechanisms that constitute a dependency to ketamine are entirely different than the mechanisms that most addiction workers are used to, because ketamine works differently than more common drugs of abuse.

Ketamine Addiction Help

Ketamine addiction is a severe problem for those who are getting carried away with the substance. Ketamine is attractive for those who enjoy it because it allows users to experience out-of-body sensations, which can detach them from the stress and worries of daily life. It’s also quite potent regarding anxiolytic effects because when one is in a dissociative state, it’s impossible to focus on the immediate surroundings enough to develop anxiety regarding them.
It’s easy to conclude that being addicted to a compound that causes full-body dissociation and, in essence, paralyzes its users, is not healthy. If ketamine use is becoming a problem, should seek help.
There are many options available for someone seeking treatment for a ketamine addiction. Most professional rehabilitation centers are more than willing to accept a patient who is struggling with a ketamine addiction; many personal drug counselors and care workers are also happy to work with people addicted to dissociative compounds. Stay strong and above the allure of ketamine addiction. Help is readily available and can quite literally save lives.

What are the Treatments?

There are many different ketamine addiction treatments available, and each one is suitable for people in different situations. All of these treatments involve some degree of psychotherapy, which is a vital part of therapy for ketamine addicts. Relapse is common among drug users that don’t receive therapy.
Conversely, people who engage in a treatment program that uses therapy – cognitive behavioral therapy is the most common therapeutic method used for treating addiction – are much less likely to relapse. This is because treatment helps to address the underlying problems that lead to addiction instead of just bandaging the problem.

These are some of the most common treatments for ketamine addiction:

  • Inpatient rehab is for those suffering from the most severe addiction. During an inpatient rehab, patients remain at the treatment facility. This prevents the chance of relapsing and is also beneficial because the recovering user will be in an environment that supports their recovery 24/7.
  • Outpatient rehab is for people who have less severe addictions. This program only requires patients to stay at the facility during any scheduled appointments. Patients are free to leave otherwise, but this may place them more at risk for relapsing.
  • One-on-one therapy is for individuals who don’t believe in the need for an entire rehabilitative process. Many drug counselors and therapists are happy to work with patients on a face-to-face basis; if therapy isn’t working, medical professionals may recommend that people with severe addictions go to rehab.

Stages of Ketamine Addiction Treatment

The steps of ketamine addiction treatment are mostly the same as those for treating any other addiction, with the exception that withdrawal symptoms won’t be as intense as those seen by people detoxing from more physically addictive drugs. If someone needs to seek treatment for ketamine addiction, it’s good to learn about the standard aspects of rehab.Young man is thinking about ways of ketamine addiction rehab
Ketamine addiction treatment stages:

  • Treatment Initiation. This stage describes the initial agreement between either the user and those who are caring for them, or between the user and themselves, in which it is agreed mutually to seek treatment for their problem. This phase is often initiated by a personal decision, which is the ideal way to begin treatment, but unfortunately, other circumstances can lead an individual into treatment.

    • Legal repercussions may force an addict into rehabilitation whether or not the addict is ready to seek treatment. If an addict is arrested for a drug-related problem, it’s most likely that rehabilitation is the first step prescribed for reintegrating into society.
    • Their family may call an intervention if their problem is becoming too severe. Intervention specialists often convince users to accompany them to a rehab center.
    • Some people have to choose between having a job or undergoing a rehabilitation program. This prevents employees from showing up to work intoxicated.
  • Early Abstinence. This is the first stage of commitment, which occurs after a person has agreed to get treatment. This is the most challenging stage for a regular ketamine user because it requires them to finally attempt to return to life as a sober individual, which will need them to face the problems that have been covered up by drugs. This is why therapy is so useful and, indeed, often vital for people recovering from addictions. This is also the stage in which recovering addicts begin developing a relationship with their addiction counselor.
  • Maintaining Abstinence. For those who manage to make it three months, or 90 days, without using ketamine, then congratulations – this is the landmark for the third stage of treatment, which is maintaining abstinence. By now, most addicts have probably learned the necessary coping skills to ensure that it’s possible to live a comfortable life – relatively comfortable, at least – living life without needing to use ketamine. For those who were treated in inpatient rehab, it’s now time to get ready to move back into the real world, or at least into an outpatient center. This means that there’s more freedom – but also more responsibility.
  • Advanced Recovery. This is a stage that not everyone makes it to. After being sober for about five years, the recovering addict enters the phase of advanced recovery. It’s clear that the patient can use the coping skills and mechanisms necessary to avoid using ketamine. Now, the patient is working on using these skills to build a satisfying and independent lifestyle that might include raising a family.

Ketamine Rehab Programs

If one is thinking about trying to get a loved one into a drug rehab center, don’t feel guilty – most people don’t know how to help the addiction of ketamine users themselves. That’s why treatment and rehab for ketamine exists.
Ketamine rehab functions just like any other form of rehab, and we’ve already outlined the basic principles of outpatient and inpatient rehab throughout the article. Since the details are already covered, the most important thing is to find out where to get help for ketamine addiction. Look for ketamine rehab centers in the local area – any right rehabilitation center is more than willing to accept patients with addiction to ketamine.
If it is necessary, sign up for a rehabilitation program that includes a medically supervised detox. These programs are usually for people detoxing from drugs known to have dangerous withdrawal symptoms, like opiates or benzodiazepines. Typically detox programs aren’t available for people suffering from ketamine addictions, but it’s worth finding out if specific local treatment centers offer this.

Starting Ketamine Addiction Treatment Right Now

If a friend or loved one are struggling with an addiction to ketamine, the most important thing to remember is that treatment should begin as soon as possible. It may take a few days before being able to take part in an actual rehab program, but it’s vitally important to sign up for treatment as soon as possible.Woman is calling to rehab center by phone
Tomorrow might be too late. This is especially true when dealing with drugs like ketamine, that can completely incapacitate their users and make them vulnerable to all sorts of tragic accidents. Not only that, but ketamine is highly destructive to the brain and many of the tissues in the human body. The sooner one seeks treatment for addiction, the less likely that problems are to arise.
There are many ways to find ketamine treatment centers nearby. The easiest way is to look online – sites like these can help find local treatment centers, and provide information about rehabs on a state-by-state basis. It’s also important to consider the different factors that can determine which type of treatment is available:

  • It could be worth it to seek treatment in a neighboring city. Some treatment centers are costly, and if it’s cheaper to commute to a nearby town and find inpatient treatment than it is to seek treatment in the place currently resided in.
  • Remember that the price often reflects the quality of the treatment, though this isn’t necessarily the case. Check out reviews online and ask locals who have been through treatment.

If ketamine addiction is a problem, there’s no point in waiting around to see if the problem will get any worse. Jump right into the first step of recovery by committing to a treatment plan – things will only get better from there.

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Published on: March 26th, 2018

Updated on: April 2nd, 2021

About Author

Peter J. Grinspoon, MD

Dr. Peter Grinspoon is an experienced physician with long-term clinical practice experience. As a former analgesic addict, Dr. Grinspoon knows precisely how important it is to provide patients with effective treatment and support. Medical writing for him is the way to communicate with people and inform them about their health.

Medically Reviewed by

Michael Espelin APRN

8 years of nursing experience in wide variety of behavioral and addition settings that include adult inpatient and outpatient mental health services with substance use disorders, and geriatric long-term care and hospice care.  He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture.


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