Substance Use

Mixing Ketamine and Alcohol: Can You Drink on Ketamine?

whiskey in glass with syringe of ketamine

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What Are The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol With Ketamine?

The use of ketamine and alcohol together can lead to feelings of intense sedation and dissociation as they amplify each other’s effects. By suppressing the central nervous system, this combination can cause impaired judgment, memory loss, drowsiness, loss of consciousness, and respiratory suppression. It also increases the risk of overdose, coma, and death.

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 at Zinnia Health has extensive experience in treating substance and alcohol addiction. Call us at (855) 430-9439 for more information.

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Can You Drink on Ketamine?

You should not drink when taking ketamine as these two substances can overwhelm the body.

Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic often used in medicine by health professionals. Ketamine affects n-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, which are essential in memory and learning.  It is also sometimes used as a date rape drug because of its dissociative anesthetic effects and impact on NMDA receptors.

In simple terms, ketamine has sedative and dissociative effects. It surpasses the central nervous system, just like alcohol.

This means mixing ketamine with alcohol intensifies the effects of both substances. The immediate effect might feel like heavy intoxication, but it can have severe consequences.

How Long After Taking Ketamine Can You Drink Alcohol?

You should wait at least 24 hours after taking ketamine before you drink alcohol to ensure that your body is able to get the drug out of your bloodstream before you add alcohol to the mix. If you are intentionally mixing ketamine to strengthen the effects of alcohol or the drug, then this is a sign that you may be suffering from a substance use disorder.

The inability to abstain from alcohol consumption despite the known risks and adverse effects constitutes drug addiction, and you should reach out to a helpline or healthcare professional like Zinnia Health for more information on alcohol and ketamine addiction.

Why Do People Mix Alcohol With Ketamine?

Many people mixing alcohol with ketamine do so for the “high” or “K-hole.” When people use ketamine recreationally, they may mix it with alcohol intentionally, in order to intensify the effects of both substances. However, a person may also be unaware that they have taken ketamine since it goes by a range of street names, including “special K.”

Intentionally mixing alcohol with a substance like ketamine is a form of substance misuse (also known as drug abuse) and it can rapidly lead to drug and/or alcohol addition.

Why Is It Dangerous to Mix Ketamine with Alcohol?

Deaths from ketamine abuse do occur, and most are linked to mixing ketamine with other substances — including alcohol. The effects of ketamine and alcohol are dose-dependent, but once of the biggest risks is toxicity, also known as 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.

What Can Happen if You Drink on Ketamine?

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

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. At Zinnia Health, we’re committed to providing a holistic approach to recovery. For more information, call (855) 430-9439.

What Are the Symptoms From Drinking Alcohol with Ketamine?

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.

How to Get Help For a Ketamine Addiction

If you are struggling with a ketamine or an alcohol use disorder, treatment options are available that are confidential, free of judgment, and flexible enough to conform to your needs.

Any healthcare provider can help you get on the path to treatment, but it’s essential that you find a substance abuse program that fits your needs.

There are a few steps to getting help with addiction treatment, and it always starts with detox. You can choose to detox at a hospital/medical facility or a residential treatment center and this phase may last 1-3 weeks, depending on your circumstances.

During detox, medical professionals will help you manage the withdrawal symptoms.

Once detox is complete, you can choose from:

  • Inpatient recovery at a residential treatment facility or public health clinic (such as a hospital)
  • Intensive outpatient programs where you will attend daily appointments
  • Flexible outpatient programs where you can attend appointments on your own time, based on your needs and preferences
  • Follow-up support after you leave structured treatment, which may involve occasional appointments, support groups, or communication via text or phone

At Zinnia Health, 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. Contact us at (855) 430-9439 today if you think you or a loved one could benefit from our treatment options.

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