Ketamine Side Effects

What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine, a drug often used in veterinary medicine, has seen a rise in popularity among teens and young adults in recent years. Ketamine also goes by the names “Special K” and simply “K.” As this hallucinogenic drug makes its rounds on the club scene across the U.S. and Europe, there has been a dramatic rise in Ketamine-related ER visits. Things like hallucinations, cardiac and bladder symptoms, and injuries are the most typical causes of these visits. As states, “the user may also experience impaired motor functioning which could lead to accident or injury.”

Ketamine Side Effects
As a hallucinogen, Ketamine causes hallucinations, “out-of-body” experiences and euphoria when injected, snorted or otherwise consumed. Users often report feeling “distant,” “serene” or “surreal” while high on ketamine. Ketamine is said to alleviate the symptoms of depression and has been studied as a potential prescription anti-depressant. In spite of these benefits, Ketamine is a highly addictive drug, and people using it quickly need more and more of it in order to experience the same feelings as they did during their initial high. As a result, people can become dependent on Ketamine. Ketamine is a dangerous drug to be dependent on or addicted to since it comes with a long list of side effects. And Ketamine use can quickly lead to severe damage of the lower urinary tract symptoms that may ultimately require surgery and even, in some cases, bladder removal. These permanent impacts are far more common than people realized in the early days of Ketamine abuse.
The side effects of Ketamine can be classified as short-term and long-term effects. From the initial dose, people taking Ketamine can experience the following short-term effects:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Numbness
  • Respiratory problems

Long-term effects of Ketamine are, in general, similar to short-term effects but can become more damaging over time.

While most of the short-term effects of Ketamine fade when the person is no longer using Ketamine, some of the long-term effects of Ketamine do not, which is one of the greatest dangers of continuous use of the drug. Long-term use of Ketamine can cause damage to several major internal organs, especially the bladder.

According to Medscape, “Two studies have shown that the recreational use of the drug Ketamine can result in bladder damage. The damage occurs through drug-related toxicity in the urine, which leads to erosion of the bladder’s epithelial lining.” And studies have shown that Ketamine-related bladder damage is even more common than initially thought.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to Ketamine or a similar drug, we invite you to contact our compassionate and well-trained team at The Recovery Village. We’re here to answer your questions and ready to help in any way we can.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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