Author: Alex Thompson

Multiorgan dysfunction related to chronic ketamine abuse PMC

ketamine abuse effects

Third, since subjects were mostly recreational users, they might have used ketamine shortly before data were obtained. Therefore, the different functional connectivity patterns could in part be caused or influenced by the direct, short term effects of ketamine. The included studies followed a cross-sectional and retrospective design with considerable variability among studies in terms of subject age, ketamine type and dosage. It should be noted that in some studies, ketamine users had a mood disorder and for many of the studies it was unclear whether the ketamine users were diagnosed with another substance use disorder or another psychiatric illness.

This is often the stage where relapse (going back to using a drug) happens, but with support and the skills learned in treatment, you can reduce the risk of this happening. The patient was initially managed with intravenous hydration, thiamine, and continuous urinary drainage through an indwelling catheter. The histology from the esophageal mucosa revealed only chronic inflammatory changes. A magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography showed mild dilatation of the proximal common bile duct with narrowing of the common hepatic duct without cholelithiasis. The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

ketamine abuse effects

Resting-state fMRI can also be used to measure regional homogeneity (ReHo). ReHo describes the summarized local functional connectivity between a voxel and its neighboring voxels. This is an index of network centrality, showing the importance of a voxel in a functional network. In 41 chronic ketamine users with a mean use of 2 grams/day for 3.4 years compared to 44 drug-free controls, lower ReHo in the right anterior cingulate cortex and higher ReHo in the left precentral frontal gyrus were found (Liao et al., 2012). The higher ReHo in the left precentral frontal gyrus was negatively correlated with estimated total lifetime ketamine consumption and ketamine craving (Liao et al., 2012).

Structural Differences: White Matter

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that, when injected, lethal doses of ketamine begin around 11 mg/kg of body weight. A ketamine overdose can occur when the substances is taken in large amounts or when combined with other substances. Ketamine can disrupt the senses, judgment, and motor function for up to 24 hours after use. These effects have seen a growing and worrying use of this drug for date rape. Coupled with its ability to produce an out-of-body experience, this drug can cause visual and auditory perceptual changes. As a Schedule III drug, ketamine is available for medicinal use with a prescription.

It’s hard for users to tell whether they’ve injured themselves, so they can end up hurting themselves severely. Some people have suffered from broken legs and effectively crippled themselves because they couldn’t tell that something wasn’t right. Walking on a broken leg can result in compound fractures, penetration of the skin, sepsis, and serious nerve damage. If this progresses to vomiting, it can be very dangerous, as those in the midst of a state of dissociated confusion frequently end up supine—presenting a serious choking hazard. If you do see someone on ketamine, take a moment to roll them on their side or into the recovery position if possible to prevent this from happening.

  1. Alternatively, you might be committing illegal or morally questionable acts because of it.
  2. It is the first successful attempt to map changes induced by chronic ketamine exposure at what is known as “sub-cellular resolution,” in other words, down to the level of seeing ketamine’s effects on parts of individual cells.
  3. You might find that it’s causing you severe financial difficulties, or you may realize that it has resulted in you spending more money than you can afford.
  4. Also, they found a correlation between higher sgACC connectivity with the dmPFC and higher depression scores in women, but not in men.

This drug has been linked to conditions like depression, hysteria, memory loss, and high blood pressure in regular users. Therefore, we also analyzed the results after excluding four of these five studies. As a result of this, finding (2) would change to “lower white matter integrity in right frontal and temporoparietal lobes” and/or finding (3) would not stand, depending on which articles were left out.

Ketamine Slang Terms

In 16 ketamine users averaging 2.4 grams/day for 7.3 years, a lower level of axial diffusivity was found compared to 16 polydrug controls, especially in the frontal part of the right hemisphere (Edward Roberts et al., 2014). Axial diffusivity was significantly lower in eight white matter clusters in the right hemisphere in the ketamine group compared to the control group, the three largest being located in the frontal cortex (Edward Roberts et al., 2014). In a pilot that studied white matter connectivity, chronic ketamine users showed higher connectivity between caudate nuclei and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC).

ketamine abuse effects

They found lower functional connectivity of the default mode network in the orbital right inferior frontal gyrus, left anterior cingulate gyrus, paracingulate gyri, right superior temporal gyrus and bilateral vermic lobule VI of the cerebellum. In contrast, they found higher functional connectivity in the left middle occipital gyrus. Using diffusion-weighted MRI scans, fractional anisotropy (FA) can be used for estimating white matter fiber density, myelination and axonal diameter. FA reductions were found in bilateral frontal and left temporoparietal white matter in 41 ketamine users with a mean use of 2 grams/day for 3.4 years, in comparison with 44 drug-free controls (Liao et al., 2010). FA in the left and right frontal white matter was negatively correlated with the total lifetime consumption of ketamine. Axial diffusivity is thought to be a measure of axonal density and radial diffusivity is thought to be related to the degree of myelination (Liao et al., 2010).

Ketamine found effective in treating severe depression

Direct damage, microvascular injury, and immune mechanisms were thought to be the etiological factors (7). Recent evidence suggests that cytotoxic damage to the urinary tract by the drug is the cause for the abnormalities (8). By alteration of the epithelial cell-to-cell adhesion and cell coupling in the renal tract, ketamine causes damage through a nonclassical profibrotic mechanism. Ketamine abuse more than three times weekly for more than 2 years has been found to be a significant risk factor for urinary tract disease (9).

Rehabilitation centers can help with different treatment options, detox programs, and other necessary assistance for overcoming dependency. Cognitive behavioral therapy can assist with changing the thought patterns that play a role in supporting drug use and addiction. This leaves plenty of room for excessive amounts of ketamine to be taken, amounts which can lead to an overdose. Likewise, snorting and injecting ketamine are common ways to consume ketamine, so this permits quick entry into the bloodstream. Because ketamine is consumed in liquid and powder form, or mixed in these forms with other stimulants—there is a high chance that a person using this drug has little to no idea of how much is being consumed.

It is sometimes used off-label for pain relief and can provide sedative effects. In addition, the FDA now recognizes the antidepressant benefits of ketamine when it is combined with oral depressants. Widely known for its medicinal properties, ketamine’s effects have made it a popular addition to the party scene. It has also joined the ranks of GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) and Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam) as a date rape drug.

Brain Changes Associated With Long-Term Ketamine Abuse, A Systematic Review

The included studies described structural gray matter and white matter differences, differences in brain functionality and differences in neurotransmitter receptor binding. All retrieved studies were retrospective cohort studies, level IV on the Sackett scale or level 2b on the Oxford CEBM levels of evidence scale (Sackett, 1989; Howick et al., 2018). To date, the safety of prolonged ketamine administration has sparsely been investigated in humans in a prospective manner. The studies that have been done, have been conducted in clinical setting, with a much lower dose than the doses that are used recreationally. However, given the scarcity of research on the topic, these findings are worth mentioning. The most frequently reported side effects of short term ketamine (hours/days) are related to the nervous system, such as dissociation, sedation, headache, dizziness, blurred vision and memory impairment (Short et al., 2017).

Treatment for ketamine addiction often involves some type of psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational enhancement therapy, family therapy, or group therapy. Ketamine addiction also makes it difficult for people to function as they normally do in their daily life and activities. If substance misuse disrupts work, school, and personal relationships, it can indicate a ketamine addiction. Ketamine was approved by the FDA in 2019 for the treatment of depression, “but its usefulness is limited by its potential for abuse because of its psychiatric side effects,” said Fangyun Tian. Tolerance can build to the effects over time, requiring greater doses of the drug to reach the same level of effect. The dissociative effect alters the users perception of light and sound and produces feelings of detachment from self and surroundings.