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Ketamine Addiction Symptoms. Is Ketamine Addictive? FAQs, Risks & Treatment

Ketamine has a unique mood controlling property and a number of studies have demonstrated a significant and rapid antidepressant effect of ketamine. However, the therapeutic value of ketamine to treat psychiatric disorders faces a major challenge that ketamine also owns significant reinforcing and toxic effects. Its abuse has posted severe harms on individuals. Continue to read more about the symptoms of ketamine addiction, effects, and treatment.

Is Ketamine Addictive?

Yes. Ketamine is under the Schedule III class of drugs controlled in the US. Schedule III substances have a moderate potential for physical and psychological dependency compared to Schedules I and II. However, repeated or frequent use of ketamine can lead to tolerance, where higher doses are required to achieve the desired effects. This tolerance can contribute to escalating use and increase the risk of addiction.

People who abuse ketamine should know that there are several dangers associated with using this drug. The drug can lead to extreme dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion. Ketamine can cause amnesia when misused, leading to severe dangers for the user, especially if they are in the wrong atmosphere with bad people. Driving heavy machinery or operating motor vehicles can also pose severe risks for the user.

Ketamine may produce strange thoughts. Even when the drug is provided during a surgical procedure, the ideas or behaviors following the surgery may be erratic or unusual. The same is true for a user who abuses ketamine. These thoughts and erratic behaviors can lead to irrational activities that could pose severe risks to the user.

Ketamine Addiction Symptoms

Is ketamine addicting? The resounding answer is yes. Ketamine has several desired and adverse effects on the mind and body, which can be habit-forming and harmful.

The short-term or immediate effects of ketamine use are:

  • Sedation.
  • Orientation.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Changes in perception of sound, time, surroundings, and body.
  • Feelings of invulnerability.
  • Reduced awareness of the environment.
  • Dream-like state.
  • Increased distractibility.
  • Impaired thinking.
  • Out-of-body experiences.
  • Reduced pain perception.

The “K-hole” is a hallucinogenic state associated with ketamine dosing. It is often described as a frightening or near-death experience, though it can be spiritual for some.

Ketamine addiction and side effects are undesired, secondary, harmful effects. Side effects of Ketamine abuse include the following:

  • Anxiety.
  • Delirium.
  • Psychotic symptoms, including paranoia and delusions.
  • Flashbacks.
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Chest pain.
  • Increased salivation.
  • Vomiting.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Coordination problems.
  • Dizziness.
  • Cataplexy (physical collapse due to intense emotions).
  • Dystonia (involuntary muscle spasms or contractions, which can be painful).
  • Rhabdomyolysis (breakdown of muscle tissue, which can result in kidney failure or shock).
  • Seizures.

The long-term consequences of Ketamine addiction are limited. However, preliminary findings point to the following potential effects of chronic use:

  • Impaired memory and cognition.
  • Diminished executive functioning: includes higher-level skills such as problem-solving, attention, planning, abstract thinking, self-control, decision-making, emotional regulation, and moral reasoning.
  • Impaired psychological well-being.
  • Delusional thinking, even after abstinence.
  • Depressive and dissociative symptoms.
  • Visual disturbances or problems.
  • White matter degeneration in the brain. 
  • Psychological dependence. 
  • Painful urination. 
  • Stomach pain is commonly referred to as “K-cramps.”

Understanding Ketamine Therapy for Addiction

Despite its habit-forming potential, ketamine for addiction treatment has been studied. Ketamine treatment for addiction is being explored for various mental health conditions.

It involves the administration of ketamine Infusion for addiction in a controlled and therapeutic setting, accompanied by psychological support and therapy. Ketamine acts on the glutamate system in the brain, which is involved in mood regulation and neuroplasticity. It is believed to promote the growth of new neural connections and potentially disrupt maladaptive patterns associated with addiction.

While ketamine therapy addiction treatment shows promise as a potential cure, it is still considered an experimental and evolving field. Other ketamine and addiction research is needed to fully understand its effectiveness, long-term outcomes, and safety considerations for treatment.

Ketamine addiction is not rare. Ketamine is commonly used as an anesthetic in medical and veterinary settings. At lower doses, it can produce analgesia, sedation, and a state of dissociation called the "K-hole." It has a relatively short duration of action, typically lasting around 1-2 hours.
Ketamine addiction is not rare. Ketamine is commonly used as an anesthetic in medical and veterinary settings. At lower doses, it can produce analgesia, sedation, and a state of dissociation called the “K-hole.” It has a relatively short duration of action, typically lasting around 1-2 hours.

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Ketamine Drug Facts

Common or Ketamine Street Names: Cat Valium, Cat Tranquilizer, Jet K, Kit Kat, Special K, Purple, Special La Coke, Super K, Super Acid, and Vitamin K.

Ketamine Addiction Risk & Effects

Using ketamine for non-medical purposes is illegal in many jurisdictions. Possessing, distributing, or manufacturing ketamine for recreational use can result in legal repercussions.

In addition to the ketamine-specific mental and physical effects, there are several commonly encountered consequences of substance addiction. Signs of ketamine addiction may include the following:

  • Strong cravings or urges to use ketamine.
  • Difficulty controlling or stopping ketamine use.
  • Spending significant time seeking, using, or recovering from ketamine.
  • Neglecting responsibilities, relationships, or activities due to ketamine use.
  • Continued use of ketamine despite negative physical, mental, or social consequences.
  • Withdrawal symptoms when attempting to discontinue or cut back on ketamine use.

Ketamine Withdrawal Symptoms

Ketamine withdrawal symptoms may occur when someone using ketamine regularly or in high doses abruptly stops or significantly reduces their use. Although ketamine withdrawal is considered less severe than other substances, it can still cause discomfort and distress.

Common withdrawal symptoms associated with ketamine may include the following:

  • Rebound Psychological Symptoms.
    • Discontinuing ketamine use can lead to a temporary resurgence of the symptoms it was used to manage, such as depression, anxiety, or dissociative symptoms.
  • Mood Disturbances.
    • Withdrawal from ketamine can cause mood swings, irritability, restlessness, and emotional instability. Some individuals may experience depression, dysphoria, or heightened anxiety during this period.
  • Cognitive Impairment.
    • Ketamine withdrawal can be accompanied by cognitive difficulties, such as impaired concentration, memory problems, and reduced cognitive function. These effects are typically transient and improve over time.
  • Sleep Disturbances.
    • Insomnia or changes in sleep patterns are common during ketamine withdrawal.
  • Physical Symptoms.
    • Physical symptoms during ketamine withdrawal are generally mild, but they can include headaches, increased sensitivity to stimuli, fatigue, and muscle aches.

Ketamine Comedown

The ketamine comedown refers to the period following the peak effects of ketamine use when the drug’s effects start to wear off. During this phase, individuals may experience various physical and psychological effects as the drug gradually clears from their system.

The specific experiences of a ketamine comedown can differ between individuals who take ketamine and can be affected by dosage, frequency of use, and individual sensitivity.

Common experiences during the ketamine comedown may include the following:

  • Lingering Effects.
    • After the initial peak effects of ketamine subside, individuals may still feel residual effects such as mild dissociation, altered perception of time, or lingering calmness.
  • Disorientation and Confusion.
    • Ketamine can temporarily impair cognitive function, and as the drug wears off, individuals may experience disorientation, confusion, and difficulty concentrating or making decisions.
  • Emotional Fluctuations.
    • Some individuals may experience mood swings, ranging from euphoria during the drug’s effects to feelings of depression, anxiety, or emotional instability during the comedown phase.
  • Fatigue and Lethargy.
    • Ketamine can have sedative effects, and as it wears off, individuals may feel increased fatigue, sleepiness, or a general sense of lethargy.
  • Physical Discomfort.
    • Ketamine can cause muscle relaxation, and as the drug’s effects diminish, individuals may experience muscle stiffness, soreness, or discomfort. Headaches or gastrointestinal disturbances, such as nausea or upset stomach, can also occur during the comedown phase.

Ketamine comedown is temporary, and most individuals will gradually return to their baseline state as the drug is metabolized and eliminated from the body.

However, suppose you find the comedown phase to be distressing or experience severe symptoms. In that case, it is advisable to contact a healthcare professional or seek support from an addiction specialist who can provide guidance and assistance. They can help monitor your well-being, address concerns, and provide appropriate support during this period.

Ketamine Drug Fact Sheet by the DEA

Download the below pdf for more information about ketamine drugs. The DEA provided the below file to be publicly available for download to help raise awareness about the risks of substance use disorder.

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Ketamine Addiction Statistics

Ketamine abuse and addiction are not as extensively studied as some other substances. However, it is recognized as a substance with abuse potential, and cases of ketamine addiction have been reported worldwide.

1.2 Million

In the US, an estimated 1.2 million people aged 12 or older had used ketamine for non-medical purposes at least once in their lifetime in 2019.

Source: SAMHSA


In late 2019, the highest prevalence of recreational ketamine use was reported, accounting for 0.9%.

Source: NCBI


Nearly 40% of people who use ketamine reported intentional misuse or abuse.

Source: NCBI

How To Overcome Ketamine Addiction?

To overcome ketamine addiction, it is essential to take the following steps:

  • Acknowledge the problem and have the desire to change.
  • Seek professional help from healthcare professionals or addiction specialists.
  • Engage in therapy and counseling to address underlying issues and develop coping strategies.
  • Utilize support groups or mutual aid programs for ongoing support.
  • Make positive lifestyle changes, including adopting healthy habits and finding alternative activities.
  • Develop relapse prevention strategies and build a strong support network.

Remember, overcoming ketamine addiction is a challenging process that takes time and dedication. It is vital to seek professional help and surround yourself with a supportive network to increase your chances of successful recovery.

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Ketamine Drug Combinations

Overdose often occurs when ketamine is combined with other drugs. Overdose on ketamine alone is rare. Often, overdose occurs when ketamine is combined with other medications, such as opioids, cocaine, alcohol, or amphetamines. The signs and symptoms of ketamine overdose include the following:

  • Respiratory depression.
  • Sedation.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Chest pain.
  • Dizziness.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Anxiety.
  • Jaw muscle spasms.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Vomiting.
  • Confusion.
  • Amnesia.
  • Seizures.
  • Respiratory arrest.
  • Polyneuropathy (diffusely impaired nervous tissue functioning).

If you suspect you or someone you’re concerned with has overdosed on ketamine, call 911 or immediately visit the nearest emergency room.

Combining ketamine addiction and alcohol can have additive or synergistic effects on the central nervous system, increasing the risks of adverse reactions, overdose, impaired judgment, and physical harm.
Combining ketamine addiction and alcohol can have additive or synergistic effects on the central nervous system, increasing the risks of adverse reactions, overdose, impaired judgment, and physical harm.

Ketamine and Alcohol Addiction

Ketamine and alcohol addiction are separate but potentially interconnected substance use disorders. While they affect the body and brain differently, their co-occurrence can complicate treatment and pose additional risks to an individual’s health.

Ketamine and alcohol can interfere with the effectiveness of addiction treatment, whether you’re taking alcoholism treatment or ketamine treatment for drug addiction. Continued use of one substance may increase cravings or trigger relapse for the other substance, making it more challenging to maintain sobriety.

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Ketamine Addiction Treatment

Treating ketamine addiction typically involves a comprehensive approach, including assessment, detoxification if necessary, therapy and counseling, support groups, and relapse prevention strategies. The initial step is to assess the individual’s needs and develop an individualized treatment plan. Medical detoxification may be required to manage withdrawal symptoms safely.

Therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), helps address underlying issues and develop coping skills. Support groups help to recover individuals and provide a sense of community and shared experiences. Relapse prevention strategies are taught to prevent future ketamine abuse. Ongoing aftercare and support are essential to maintaining sobriety. It’s crucial to seek professional help to receive tailored treatment and support for ketamine addiction.

For anyone needing support to stop ketamine addiction, contacting a rehab center can significantly help. The We Level Up is ready to assist individuals who struggle with ketamine addiction and mental health problems. Call us today for treatment resources and further options. We offer free assessment, and each call is private and confidential.

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Top 5 How Addictive is Ketamine? FAQs

  1. Can you get addicted to ketamine?

    Yes. Regular or excessive use of ketamine can result in tolerance, where higher doses are needed to achieve the desired effects and physical and psychological dependence. (This ketamines addictive condition is often misspelled as “ketamin addiction.”)

  2. Are ketamine troches addictive?

    Ketamine troches, which are lozenges or sublingual tablets containing ketamine, have the potential for addiction and misuse, similar to other forms of ketamine.

  3. Is ketamine physically addictive?

    Ketamine can cause physical dependence and addiction when used regularly and in high doses. Physical dependency occurs when the body adapts to ketamine, and its sudden removal can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Ketamine drug addiction, on the other hand, involves a psychological compulsion to use ketamine despite adverse consequences.

  4. Is ketamine nasal spray addictive?

    Yes. Ketamine nasal spray has the potential for addiction and dependency, similar to other forms of ketamine. While ketamine is primarily used as an anesthetic in medical settings, its off-label use as a nasal spray for treating certain conditions, such as depression or chronic pain, has gained attention.

  5. Is ketamine addictive when used for depression?

    The potential for addiction when using ketamine for depression is still being studied and is a topic of ongoing research. Ketamine has shown promise as a rapidly acting antidepressant in some individuals with treatment-resistant depression. It is often administered in a controlled medical setting and at lower doses than recreationally.

Angel Dust Drug. What is PCP Drug? PCP Effects, Angel Dust Drugs Hazards & Treatment Options.

Ketamine and phencyclidine (PCP) are classified as dissociative anesthetics and have similarities. Both ketamine and PCP can induce dissociative and hallucinogenic effects. They can cause feelings of detachment from the environment, altered perceptions, and distorted sensory experiences. However, there are notable differences in the intensity and duration of these effects.

Ketamine is commonly used as an anesthetic in medical and veterinary settings. PCP, on the other hand, is a more potent and longer-acting drug. It can induce various effects, including hallucinations, delusions, agitation, and disorientation. PCP’s effects can be more unpredictable and potentially more intense than ketamine. The duration of PCP’s effects can vary widely, from a few hours to several days.

Both ketamine and PCP can carry risks and side effects. They can impair cognitive function, coordination, and judgment. Overdosing either drug can lead to severe health consequences and even life-threatening situations. Learn more about PCP drug addiction, known as “Angel Dust Drug.”

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Angel Dust Drug. What is PCP Drug? Video Transcript.

Welcome to the We Level Up treatment center video series. In today’s video, we will discuss Angel Dust Drug. What is PCP Drug? PCP Effects, Angel Dust Drugs Hazards, & Treatment Options.

Angel Dust is the street name for phencyclidine or PCP drug, a powerful sedative and hallucinogen. Its effects include disorientation, hallucinations, loss of coordination, agitation, and increased body temperature and heart rate. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the effects of Angel Dust, please seek medical help immediately.

The hallucinogen phencyclidine or PCP drug can be smoked as “fry” or marijuana cigarettes mixed with the narcotic angel dust. It is a white crystal powder. The adverse effects of angel dust medications can range greatly from sensory alterations to schizophrenic-like behavior to stroke, anxiety, and depression, and the consequences of angel dust are unexpected.

What is angel dust, or what are PCP drug prohibitions? Angel dust is prohibited, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Controlled Substances Act classifies angel dust as a substance in Schedule II. Meth and cocaine are the substances under Schedule II most susceptible to abuse. Because of this, using these medicines excessively might cause significant physical or mental dependence.

People of various ages use Angel dust medications. An estimated 6 million Americans aged 12 and older have used PCP or angel dust at least once in their lives, according to the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The survey also showed that many teenagers and young adults use this substance; over 225,000 people in these age groups used it at least once, as did 777,000 people in the 18–25 age range.

What are the Street Names of Angel Dust Drugs?

There are numerous street names for the substance known as angel dust or PCP, including:

  • Hog.
  • Amoeba.
  • “STP.”
  • Super Grass.
  • Zoom.
  • Belladonna.
  • Peace Pills.
  • Boat.
  • Ozone.
  • Animal Trank.
  • Sherm Sticks.
  • Embalming Fluid.

Angel Dust: The Drug That Turns You Into a Zombie

Drugs that cause mental alterations include angel dust. This indicates that angel dust medications alter behavior, mood, and how users interact with others and their environment by acting on the brain (central nervous system). Angel dust medications are thought by experts at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to interfere with some brain chemicals’ regular functions.

Drugs named angel dust fall within the category of hallucinogens. These are drugs that can make you hallucinate. These are perceptions that you have when you are awake that seem genuine but are the product of your imagination.

A dissociative substance is frequently referred to as angel dust or PCP. The drug user experiences a sense of disconnection from their body and environment. You may have the following side effects after using this medication:

  • You are floating and disconnected from reality.
  • Euphoria, or rush, and less inhibition, similar to being drunk on alcohol.
  • Your sense of thinking is apparent; you have superhuman strength and aren’t afraid of anything.

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Search We Level Up Ketamine Addiction Detox, Mental Health Topics & Resources

[1] Drug Enforcement Administration – Drug Scheduling. 

[2] Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – Drug Abuse Warning Network, 2011: National Estimates of Drug-Related Emergency Department Visits (

[3] Rosenbaum SB, Gupta V, Patel P, et al. Ketamine. [Updated 2023 May 26]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:

[4] Kurdi MS, Theerth KA, Deva RS. Ketamine: Current applications in anesthesia, pain, and critical care. Anesth Essays Res. 2014 Sep-Dec;8(3):283-90. DOI: 10.4103/0259-1162.143110. PMID: 25886322; PMCID: PMC4258981.

[5] Ketamine Fast Facts – Department of Justice (DOJ) Available from:

[6] Drug Fact Sheet: Ketamine – Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Available from:

[7] FDA alerts health care professionals of potential risks associated with compounded ketamine nasal spray – Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

[8] Ketamine – Get Smart About Drugs

[9] A drug that acts like ketamine—but without the potential for abuse or psychotic effects—eases depression in lab tests –

[10] Rapid Antidepressant Effects of Ketamine in Major Depression –

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