Ketamine hydrochloride, otherwise known as Ketamine, is a chemical compound with many uses. Although the exact nature and mechanisms of the medication are not entirely understood, researchers have come to find that the drug is capable of performing complex actions. These complex actions generally include the medication’s ability to bind to opioid receptors in the brain, inhibiting biogenic amine uptake, inhibiting NMDA receptors, and so much more.

Scientists and medical professionals refer to Ketamine as a non-barbiturate dissociative anesthetic. The drug is rapidly effective and typically utilized in medical settings to work as a general anesthetic. A general anesthetic or anesthesia is a drug or combination of medications that place an individual in a sleep-like state. Usually, general anesthetics are for administration before a patient undergoes surgery or other invasive or highly painful medical procedure. Individuals under general anesthesia do not feel the pain or discomfort during the operation as they are in a deep recessive state, tucked away from the outside world. Much conducted research works to ascertain Ketamine’s proficiency and relevancy as a general anesthetic. Researchers have thus found that the medication is typically safer to use as a pre-surgery and surgery anesthesia than opioid derivatives, even though the drug has similar effects to opiates.

Ketamine can additionally be utilized in chronic pain management and has proven successful in helping to treat children three months of age and older. The medication is also generally found in emergency room hospitals. It is proving incredibly useful for its fast-acting onset, its ability to be used alongside a wide variety of other medicines, and its potential to sedate an individual generally without severe respiratory side effects. In some cases, Ketamine may also prove helpful in treating depression but has not met FDA approval standards for this method of use. Traditionally, Ketamine works as a general anesthetic, though sometimes it is also used to manage chronic pain or help treat depressive symptoms. Ketamine is typically a very safe medication to use for individuals of all ages. Yet, even so, Ketamine has unfortunately been used for illicit “recreational” experiences.

Ketamine’s Effects, how it works, and its Addiction Potential

Originally introduced into clinical practices in the 1960s, Ketamine has been a medical staple in pain management, emergency solutions, and surgery for more than 50 years. The drug typically works by attaching itself to various receptors in the brain, ultimately working to help decrease central sensitization, block wind-up pain phenomena, and prevent the body from forming a responsive memory to the discomforts it is encountering. The medication is quick to take effect, even when treating depression, as the drug does not need time to build upon itself for practical use. Generally, this means that an individual who uses Ketamine will begin to feel the effects of the medication within ten to fifteen minutes after consumption. The drug’s peak effects settle in about twenty to thirty minutes after use. The medicine has a half-life of about forty-five minutes, but in some instances of illicit substance abuse, the drug has proven to elicit a high that lasts for nearly an hour before tapering off.

Ketamine generally works against opioid medications as a drug that attaches to opiate receptors in the brain. The medicine has proven successful in helping treat individuals suffering from opioid use disorders to heal in rehabilitative settings. Still, even though Ketamine is not as potent or dangerous a drug like Fentanyl, the substance is listed as a Schedule III medication by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Although Ketamine has a lower rate of addiction potential than Schedule I and II substances, the medication has proven to produce drug use disorders in an estimated 3 million individuals within the United States. Although Ketamine typically works as a pain relief medication or general anesthetic, the drug can produce a variety of other symptoms and side effects, some of which “recreational” users find alluring for abuse potential. The most common side effects associated with Ketamine use include:

  • Sedation
  • Pain relief
  • Memory retention issues
  • Confusion
  • Dream-like states
  • Hallucinations
  • Slowed breathing
  • Muscle numbness
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Inability to pay or keep attention focused
  • Nausea
  • Increased blood pressure

And more. Long-term side effects of Ketamine abuse can include the development of ulcers, chronic stomach pain, kidney issues, depression, and increased risk for the contraction of infectious diseases as the immune system becomes impaired. Individuals looking to use Ketamine for illicit purposes typically pursue the drug for its hallucinogenic high as Ketamine effects are said to onset and abate faster than other psychedelic drugs like LSD. As a substance that can take effect through nasal absorption, oral ingestion, or injection, Ketamine manufactures as either a liquid or powder. Generally, when used for illicit purposes, it is by party goers. These partygoers typically refer to Ketamine as a “club drug” where most individuals use the medication to enhance a rave, party, or concert-going experience.

Misuse of the medication Ketamine in such avenues can lead to substance use disorders that may eventually become addictions. Substance use disorders are chronic mental illnesses that impair individuals’ ability to control their impulses for drug or alcohol use. A substance use disorder can occur in mild, moderate, or severe cases, the most extreme of which can lead to addictions and potentially life-threatening circumstances. Even though Ketamine is a safer alternative for some treatments than opioid medications, that does not mean the drug comes without its dangers. An individual can develop a substance use disorder or addiction surrounding this well-known medication.

Ketamine abuse disorders and addictions are treatable conditions. Yet, there remains good news. Of course, to start treatment for a Ketamine use disorder, an individual must be diagnosed by a medical professional with an abuse problem. A few ways in which a medical team will begin ascertaining if an individual is suffering from a substance use disorder typically start with conducting a drug test.

How Long Does Ketamine Remain Testable in The Body?

Not every individual concerned with how long Ketamine stays in their system is fighting a substance use disorder or addiction. Some individuals may be curious about the process. Others may have family members wrestling with addiction. Still, other people may be looking to determine how long the drug remains in the system for employment reasons, etc. Medicinally used Ketamine or even samples of the substance used once in experimentation will appear on a drug test, no matter how small the dose may have been. As a result, even though Ketamine drug tests are not commonly utilized and addictions to medication pale in comparison to other drugs like heroin, thousands of people are left to wonder, “how long does Ketamine stay in your system?” And luckily, we have here some of the answers.

A Ketamine drug screen can test for the substance in three separate ways: urine, blood, or hair. Testing the salvia for evidence of Ketamine use has not proven effective enough for continuous use. As a result, urine, blood, and hair follicle tests are the most commonly utilized drug screenings methods to determine if an individual has used Ketamine. Although Ketamine is not a typical member of a drug screen panel, doctors and medical staff have experienced enough need to test for the drug’s use for specialized tests to be developed. Ketamine can remain detectable in the human system anywhere from two weeks to ninety days, with each test proving capable of detection for various amounts of time. The length of time Ketamine remains detectable in the human system includes:

  • Up to two weeks in the urine.
  • Up to four days in the blood.
  • Up to ninety days in a hair follicle.

Incidentally, Ketamine can prove either more or less difficult to test the human body for based upon the individual. Like other drugs and medications, Ketamine interacts with each person’s body differently. An individual’s height, weight, metabolism, frequency of drug use, and the dosage of the medication they have taken can play a role in how quickly the body metabolizes and moves Ketamine through the individual’s system.

Regardless, it is possible to test for the presence of Ketamine in an individual’s body anywhere from four to ninety days after use. Once a test like this is complete, the results can help propel individuals along in their lives. They can accept the job position they were interested in, refrain from getting in trouble at their current employment, or move on to the next step of addiction recovery; finding treatment.

Finding Addiction Treatment Near You

Finding treatment for an alcohol or drug use disorder can prove a daunting experience. Millions of individuals wrestle with substance use disorders and addictions in the United States. Still, more than half of those individuals are likely never to receive the proper treatment they need to heal. This is not due to a recovery center shortage though, thousands of addiction rehabilitative servicers like St. John’s Recovery Place (SJRP) exist across the nation alone. But many individuals who struggle with addiction feel great embarrassment for needing help to overcome their disease. As a result, many will never even attempt to engage in the process of enrolling with a rehab facility.

The good news is, drug and alcohol rehab centers like St. John’s Recovery Place dedicate their efforts to serving others without a trace of judgment. Any client that enters the SJRP treatment grounds is considered a member of the larger recovery community and family. At St. John’s, a qualified medical team and professional staff work tirelessly to provide residents with the healing opportunities they so desperately need. Traditional and alternative/complementary treatment programs offered at SJRP include inpatient and outpatient avenues for male and female clients ages eighteen and older. Encouragement, compassion, and care are given to each client individually; each person’s rehab program tailored to meet their specific needs.

St. John’s Recovery Place is a drug and alcohol rehab network with a mission to serve people at its very heart. The company’s mission is to help individuals heal so they can return to everyday life as happy, healthy, and productive members of society once again. If an individual or family member struggles with addiction, they should feel encouraged; healing is just around the corner. And it only takes a simple internet search of “drug and alcohol rehabs near me” to kick start the journey towards recovery. Addiction no longer needs to rule over an individual’s life. They can take action today to reclaim what is theirs. For those who would like to know more about SJRP, its team, and its services, they can call 1-833-397-3422 to learn more about the treatment centers and their holistic recovery programs. Healing is possible! And starting the journey could be as simple as one click away.