Long term effects of Ketamine on the body

Oct 8, 2020
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Ketamine is a powerful drug, which is used as an anaesthetic is hospitals, or more commonly as pain management in veterinary clinics. The long term effects of ketamine use can be extremely severe – when someone abuses this drug for a long period it will cause both their mental and physical health to deteriorate. 

If you are addicted to a drug like ketamine, or alcohol which also affects the bladder, you should consider drug or alcohol rehab


Can ketamine use lead to dependency?

One of the long term effects of ketamine use is a psychological and physical dependency, the strong pain killing and anaesthetic effects cause people to become addicted. 

When someone uses ketamine, they will experience physical and psychological dissociation and a rise in dopamine and serotonin release. This makes people want to take more, to numb their feelings and mask emotions.

Someone who uses ketamine a lot will find their tolerance builds up over time – meaning they will have to take more and more to feel the desired effects. With very frequent use, the body learns to function under its influence, creating a physical dependency. The person will keep needing to take the drug to feel stable and keep away withdrawal symptoms. 


What are the long term effects of ketamine?

When people use ketamine through their nasal passage, it can actually damage their nose and sinus cavities. The long term effects of using ketamine in this way include damage to the nose’s internal structure, as well as their sense of smell. When ketamine is injected it can damage veins, skin, muscle, and organs. It can cause skin infections and heart infections with prolonged injecting.

Chronic ketamine use has also caused damage to people’s kidneys and liver. When they use very high volumes of the drug for a long period of time, it can cause issues with their urinary tract and bladder. They may also experience an increased heart rate, high blood pressure and respiratory issues. 

Ketamine can severely deteriorate someone’s mental health – it can be debilitating and life-threatening. It can stop a person from functioning as they usually would, and may lead to organ failure, heart attacks, and in worse case death. 


What are the long term effects on the mind?

Long term ketamine abuse can lead to mood swings, memory loss, and thought processing issues. Someone may feel confused, paranoid, and have a shortened attention span. Ketamine can cause flashbacks and trigger underlying psychosis and schizophrenia.

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