Substance Use

Ketamine and Alcohol Substance Abuse

whiskey in glass with syringe of ketamine

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Mixing Alcohol With Ketamine: What Are the Dangers?

Alcohol use can be problematic, particularly when mixing it with ketamine. Alcohol abuse and ketamine abuse come with various side effects and dangers. More people are beginning to use ketamine recreationally, and ketamine use rates are increasing, particularly for adolescents. The effects of ketamine are often intense without alcohol, and ketamine abuse alone can be very dangerous.

Deaths from ketamine abuse do occur, although most are linked to mixing ketamine with other substances. This page discusses the dangers of mixing ketamine and alcohol and contains information about ketamine abuse and treatment options.

If you think you may have a substance use disorder, call us today at (855) 430-9439 to learn about our treatment options.

What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic often used in medicine by health professionals. Some trials are also using ketamine in the treatment of alcohol use disorder, but there is still limited research on its effectiveness.

Ketamine affects n-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, which are essential in memory and learning. However, ketamine is often used recreationally by drug users and referred to by a range of street names, including “special K.” Users may refer to the high produced by taking ketamine as a “K-hole.”

Ketamine is also sometimes used as a date rape drug because of its dissociative anesthetic effects and impact on NMDA receptors.

The Effects of Mixing Ketamine and Alcohol

Mixing alcohol with ketamine can result in a range of side effects, including:

  • Appearing in a disassociative state. They may drift in and out of consciousness.
  • Producing more saliva than usual. For example, drooling.
  • Feeling anxious or paranoid. Someone mixing ketamine may also experience palpitations.
  • Confusion. Someone taking ketamine while using alcohol may appear confused and unaware of their environment.
  • Difficulty speaking or slurring when speaking.
  • Feeling nauseous or vomiting.
  • Fast heart rate, sometimes combined with chest pain.

These are just some of the common side effects that someone may experience when mixing ketamine with alcohol.

The Risks of Mixing Alcohol and Ketamine

Although many people mixing alcohol with ketamine do so for the “high” or “K-hole,” there are significant risks. Drug abuse or alcohol abuse alone comes with risks, so mixing the two substances together can amplify the overall risk substantially. This is often due to the similar effects that both alcohol and ketamine produce.

The most significant risk of mixing ketamine and alcohol is the risk of overdose. Overdosing on ketamine and alcohol can be fatal. Someone experiencing an overdose may suffer from the following:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • A slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • A heart attack
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Seizures
  • Coma

If you think someone is overdosing, you should seek emergency help immediately. Recovering from an overdose requires medical intervention.

In addition to potentially overdosing, mixing ketamine and alcohol regularly can result in a substance use disorder. Drug addiction and substance use disorders can be challenging to recover from without addiction treatment and intervention.

If you think you may have a substance use disorder or you are concerned about a loved one’s ketamine use, email us today.

Ketamine and Substance Use Disorders

Recreational drug use involving ketamine can lead to substance use disorders. A substance use disorder is often recognizable and someone suffering from drug addiction usually displays specific symptoms and signs. These include:

  • Cravings for ketamine.
  • Putting themselves in dangerous or life-threatening situations.
  • Experiencing physical or mental health relating to their drug use but continuing anyway.
  • Having to take more ketamine than usual to experience the same effect.
  • Finding that ketamine use impacts their social life and gets in the way of their responsibilities.
  • Withdrawing socially or not taking part in activities that do not involve drug use.
  • Being unable to stop thinking about taking ketamine.
  • Spending much of their time taking ketamine, sourcing it, or recovering from ketamine use.
  • Changes in mood or mental health problems.
  • Damage to relationships and friendships.

These substance use disorder signs may also be present in people with an alcohol use disorder. This guide from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism explains more about alcohol use disorder.

Treatment Options for Ketamine Abuse

If you have a substance use disorder involving ketamine or an alcohol use disorder, treatment options are available. A treatment provider offering substance abuse and mental health treatment options can help you address your drug addiction and its effects on your mental health.

Healthcare providers specializing in addiction treatment know the best treatment options to help people with a substance use disorder. Treatment options often include a detoxification process as an inpatient or outpatient, depending on the severity of your addiction/substance you are recovering from.

Following detox, a mental health professional will work with you to help you better understand the psychological impact of your drug addiction. They will then provide individual or group therapy or recommend support groups for you to attend. A range of interventions can sometimes be needed to increase your chances of recovering from a substance use disorder.

Addiction treatment is very complex, so finding a treatment provider that understands the impact of drug addiction or alcohol use disorder and mental health is essential.

Getting Help for Drug Addiction or Problem Ketamine Use

At Zinnia Healing, we understand how difficult it is to have a substance use disorder. We work with people with difficulties controlling their use of various substances, including ketamine, cannabis, MDMA, and opioids. We also provide treatment options for those suffering from alcohol use disorder.

If you are experiencing cravings or any substance use disorder signs, you should seek help. It’s never too late to enter treatment for substance use disorders or alcohol use. Our team of health professionals has extensive experience in treating many people with problems just like yours.

Contact us today if you think you or a loved one could benefit from our treatment options.

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