The continued and regular use of ketamine does cause the drug user to develop a dependency. The prolonged use of ketamine will also create a tolerance to the effects of the drug. Ketamine became a popular club drug in the 1990s and is still abused by younger adults and teens in the United States. Recognizing the signs of a ketamine addiction is essential when trying to get someone to help with their drug problem. The psychological symptoms include irritability, depression, impaired judgment, and anxious behavior. Some of the physical signs include slurred speech, redness of the skin, rapid eye movement, and impaired motor functions. Ketamine drug users are also at risk of an overdose, and large amounts of the drug create a toxic level in the body. When someone is overdosing on ketamine, their breathing will slow down, and they will lose consciousness.
The signs of an overdose include vomiting, impaired vision, muscle twitching, shortness of breath, confusion, dissociation, and unconsciousness. Ketamine is a powerful dissociative tranquilizer and has powerful hallucinogenic effects that cause unpredictable results. Ketamine abuse does lead to psychological dependency. One clear indicator of a ketamine addiction is drug-seeking behavior. Most drug users who are abusing ketamine are also using other drugs. This could be a combination of more club drugs or other illicit drugs along with the ketamine. Ketamine is a schedule III controlled substance, which means it is illegal for recreational use. Ketamine is classified as a schedule III drug because it causes psychological dependence. The recreational use of ketamine causes dangerous side effects.
Some of the side effects of recreational ketamine use include disorientation, respiratory distress, and nausea, and vomiting. Ketamine users are also prone to psychotic episodes and hallucinations while also experiencing slowed movement and impaired cognitive function. Ketamine causes numbness in the body and will elevate the drug users' heart rate and blood pressure. Bladder damage is also common with ketamine use, and one-quarter of ketamine users report pain related to urinating and emptying their bladder. The long-term user of ketamine creates effects that can last over a year after the persons have stopped using the drug. Other severe health problems such as brain damage, impaired cognitive functions can be permanent, along with damage being done to the kidneys. Ketamine users also run the risk of respiratory failure and increased heart rate, which can result in death.