Ketamine is an anesthetic drug that is incredibly valuable when used appropriately. However, ketamine is also commonly misused because high doses can cause euphoria, a sense of dissociation and hallucinations.
Although many people know ketamine as a horse tranquilizer, it has several important uses in humans. Ketamine is unique among anesthetics because it does not affect blood pressure. This means that it can be used in people suffering from severe blood loss (shock) or sepsis (blood poisoning). In addition, ketamine is valuable as a pediatric anesthetic and has been included on the World Health Organization’s Essential Medicine List since 1985. Ketamine has also shown value as a treatment for depression, pain and inflammation, and mild asthma attacks.
Despite its clear value in a clinical setting, ketamine is associated with serious risks when it is misused. Ketamine is a derivative of the illicit recreational drug phencyclidine (PCP). Although it is only one-tenth as potent as PCP, large doses of ketamine are associated with:
- Profound lethargy
- Sedation that can lead to respiratory depression, coma, and death
While there is some controversy on whether ketamine is physically addictive, research suggests that it is psychologically addictive when misused regularly. The physical and psychological consequences of regular ketamine abuse can be very dangerous, and it can have long-lasting implications on health and well-being. Ketamine’s recent popularity as a “club drug” has disrupted many lives, and it is important for people struggling with ketamine addiction to get help.
Ketamine Addiction Treatment Options
There are several options for people who are facing a ketamine use disorder. The first step toward recovery involves making an appointment with an addiction specialist. These professionals can provide specific recommendations and make referrals to the most appropriate drug addiction treatment program for you. Typical programs include:
Medical detox programs provide around-the-clock care and supervision by medical professionals who are able to intervene in the case of complications. When appropriate, medication may be administered to relieve symptom severity. Ketamine has a short half-life (approximately 45 minutes), so medical detox is rarely required in early treatment for ketamine use disorders. However, people addicted to multiple substances may benefit from a period of medically supervised detox.
Inpatient or residential drug rehab can be especially beneficial for people who have developed dependence or addiction to ketamine. Mounting evidence supports that regular ketamine use is psychologically addictive, and overcoming the first days and weeks of recovery can be challenging. Inpatient programs provide safe environments that limit access to triggers. The Recovery Village Palm Beach at Baptist Health offers several levels of evidence-based residential rehab programs that can help people overcome ketamine addiction in a supportive environment.
Outpatient drug rehab can range from intensive outpatient programs that require a substantial commitment to programs that meet a few times a week. Outpatient programs can be very beneficial for people who are limited to participating in rehab after work. It is important for patients to honestly evaluate whether an outpatient program is the right place to start. For some, a residential program may better offer a foundation for long-term recovery. Many people find that transitioning from residential treatment to an outpatient program is most effective.
For some people, ketamine is a way to manage symptoms associated with depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Undiagnosed mental health disorders are often identified during rehab, which can be life-changing for someone who is struggling with a substance use disorder. By identifying the root cause of why someone has developed a substance use disorder, people can receive more effective treatment. Treating these disorders through medication and behavioral therapy can help someone better manage symptoms without turning to substances. The experts at The Recovery Village Palm Beach at Baptist Health are equipped to evaluate whether a dual diagnosis is appropriate. If it is, we are able to tailor a comprehensive rehab program that addresses both ketamine addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders.
Duration of Treatment
There is no simple way to estimate how long ketamine treatment will last. The most effective treatment duration is the one that gives you the tools needed to maintain long-term recovery. Long-term rehab facilities will be the most appropriate for some people, while others may have success in short-term outpatient programs.
The Recovery Village Palm Beach at Baptist Health tailors rehab programs to suit each client, rather than expecting clients to attend a predetermined rehab schedule. This gives our clients the flexibility to recover at a rate that suits their needs without forcing expectations upon them.
Life After Rehab
Regular ketamine use can lead to a powerful psychological dependence that may re-emerge after someone has completed rehab. Many people find that aftercare programs provide tools and techniques that can help them manage temptation and better deal with stress in healthy and drug-free ways. In addition, aftercare programs are a valuable way to develop strong social networks of people who can provide support and friendship.
The people who are most successful in long-term recovery understand that it takes regular maintenance. Being proactive about participating in aftercare sessions and seeking new outlets for stress are strong predictors of long-term success.
How Much Does Rehab Cost?
Unfortunately, cost is a significant consideration when evaluating rehab programs. While there is no single equation that can determine how much ketamine treatment will cost, general guidelines are as follows:
- Medical Detox
Costs for medical detox programs vary depending on the level of care and whether additional medical treatments are required. However, most medical detox programs will cost between $300 and $800 per day.
- Inpatient Treatment
A bare-bones inpatient program may cost less than $10,000 for 30 days, while luxury programs can exceed $25,000. More expensive programs often include access to amenities like comfortable housing, privacy, high-quality meals and access to fitness classes.
- Outpatient Treatment
Outpatient treatments range from intensive outpatient programs to basic outpatient programs. Accordingly, the cost of an outpatient program varies and can range from free to $10,000 or more for a 30-day program.
Other costs that may be associated with rehab include:
- Admissions fees ($3,000 to $4,000)
- Medical care that is not included in the price of the rehab program
- Aftercare costs
Does Insurance Cover Ketamine Treatment?
Many rehab programs (including Medicaid and Medicare) will help lower the cost of rehab. In addition, some rehab programs provide grants or scholarships that can help people afford the care they need. The state of Florida can also help people find local treatment and rehab programs that suit their needs and budgets.
Finding Ketamine Addiction Treatment
There are several important factors to consider when looking for the most effective ketamine rehab program for your situation. These include:
The most convenient location may not be the best program for you. Don’t be afraid to evaluate programs that are farther from home.
Look for a rehab facility that accepts your insurance, offers grants or scholarships or has a sliding fee scale to keep out-of-pocket costs within your range.
- Treatment Options
Facilities that can provide medically assisted detox, residential and outpatient programs and aftercare typically provide the best rehab opportunities. Programs that treat substance use disorders should have staff who are experienced with ketamine misuse.
- Success Rates
Many rehab facilities offer information about their success rates and can provide endorsements from former clients. Be wary of any program stating that they have a 100% success rate.
- Treatment Duration
Treatment duration should be based on your individual progress, not a predetermined schedule. Look for programs that are tailored to suit your needs.
- Staff-to-Patient Ratio
A low staff-to-patient ratio ensures that you will have plenty of access to medical professionals and addiction specialists.
Key Points: Understanding Ketamine Treatment and Rehab
There are several key points to keep in mind when you are considering ketamine treatment and rehab, including:
- Ketamine is a popular “club drug” that can have serious long-term health consequences when it is misused.
- It is unclear whether ketamine is physically addictive. However, evidence shows the drug can cause profound psychological addictions that are challenging to overcome.
- Many centers provide drug rehab in Florida, but they are not all alike. Make sure you find a rehab program that is staffed by people who are experienced with ketamine use disorders.
- Ketamine treatment comes in several forms. In order to find the best starting point for your recovery, make an appointment with a quality rehab program that understands how to help people overcome ketamine use disorders.
If you or someone you love is struggling with a ketamine use disorder, The Recovery Village Palm Beach at Baptist Health can help. Our experts are equipped to address every aspect of recovery, from the initial evaluation to long-term aftercare. Contact us today to learn how professional rehab can help you begin the path to recovery.
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Gao, Mei; Rejaei, Damoon; Liu, Hong. “Ketamine use in current clinical practice.” Acta Pharmacologica Sinica, July 2016. Accessed October 28, 2019.
Esmailian, Mehrdad; Koushkian Esfahani, Mahboubeh; Heydari, Farhad. “The Effect of Low-Dose Ketamine in Treating Acute Asthma Attack; a Randomized Clinical Trial.” Emergency, April 2018. Accessed October 28, 2019.
Li, Linda; Vlisides, Phillip E. “Ketamine: 50 Years of Modulating the Mind.” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, November 2016. Accessed October 28, 2019.
Orhurhu, Vwaire J.; Claus, Lauren E.; Cohen, Steven P. “Ketamine Toxicity.” NCBI StatPearls, April 2019. Accessed October 28, 2019.
Rosenbaum Steven B.; Palacios Jorge L. “Ketamine.” NCBI StatPearls, February 2019. Accessed October 28, 2019.
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.