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The Dangers of Mixing Ketamine and Alcohol

Substances used on their own, including drugs and alcohol, can present their own dangers to someone who uses or abuses them. When someone combines substances and uses them together, it can put them at risk of having a dangerous medical or psychological reaction. What happens when a person mixes ketamine and alcohol? It can result in medical problems and even overdose. Buckhead Behavioral Health explores this topic to help people avoid endangering themselves by combining two substances. We provide quality professional outpatient treatment for those who need help overcoming addiction to drugs or alcohol.

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a disassociative anesthetic drug given to people prior to surgery that sedates them. It can also cause hallucinogenic effects in some people, depending on the dosage used. Taking ketamine can cause a person to become unable to move and develop amnesia related to what happened while they were using the drug. It is also sometimes used by veterinarians when treating animals. Unfortunately, ketamine is sometimes used on a person prior to an act of sexual assault. Ketamine causes a similar reaction to Rohypnol, commonly called the “date-rape drug”. 

The use of ketamine has become popular as part of a way to treat people with treatment-resistant depression. It is delivered in a nasal spray form to help improve symptoms of depression that common prescription medications don’t help. In addition, some people obtain ketamine to use recreationally as a way to get high. They often combine it with alcohol and other substances without realizing how unsupervised use of ketamine can be dangerous. 

How Does Ketamine Affect a Person?

Someone under the influence of ketamine will enter a stage of being anesthetized, which means they lose control of their movements and ability to think, as well as often lose consciousness. They typically experience memory loss and cannot recall what happened while under the influence of this drug. The effects of ketamine take place quickly. The person may hallucinate while on this drug and, in fact, may develop Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD). This means side effects of ketamine usage may occur even weeks after the person initially used it. 

How Does Alcohol Affect a Person?

When someone consumes a large amount of alcohol, it affects several parts of the body. It affects the brain by interfering with its communication pathways, which makes it difficult for a person to think clearly and be coordinated in their movements. A person can drink enough alcohol that they blackout and do not remember what happened to them during that state of being.

What Happens When You Mix Ketamine and Alcohol?

Mixing ketamine and alcohol can be a combustible combination. Both substances can cause a person to have difficulty with their coordination and become immobile when taken alone. They also can cause a loss of memory and consciousness. When taken together, this increases a person’s chances of experiencing these side effects, as well as having a heightened level of them that can be dangerous or even deadly. 

Alcohol is seen as a mood elevator because so many people turn to it when they are sad, angry, frustrated, or want to celebrate an event. In reality, alcohol is a depressant, which means abuse of it will cause depressive feelings. A side effect of ketamine is feeling depressed. Combining the two substances can drastically impact a person’s mood. Because they do not understand the cause and effect, they may turn to using alcohol and ketamine repeatedly to try to improve their moods, which creates a pointless and dangerous cycle.

Signs of a Ketamine and Alcohol Overdose

Mixing ketamine and alcohol can result in an overdose. When this happens, it’s important to seek immediate medical help. Signs of a ketamine and alcohol overdose include:

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Low body temperature
  • Vomiting
  • Losing consciousness
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Respiratory issues
  • Difficulty with coordination and speaking
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Seizures
  • Clammy skin

How is Addiction Treated?

When someone becomes addicted to ketamine and alcohol (separately or together), there are two steps to treatment. The first is going to a detox program to receive the medical and psychological assistance needed to get through the challenging first days of sobriety. From there, some people move to residential rehab where they live for a few weeks or months and receive 24/7 care for severe addictions. 

Afterward, or as an alternative to it, outpatient treatment offers several options to overcome addiction. The levels of care range from attending therapy sessions for a couple of days to seven days per week. Therapists trained in addiction treatment teach people to overcome their need to abuse substances and work on any unresolved issues that contributed to developing an addiction. Sessions can be during the day or at night, and some can be done virtually, for those who qualify.

Begin Treatment for Addiction in Atlanta, GA

Have you developed a dangerous habit of combining ketamine and alcohol? If so, you may need to explore your options for getting treatment for a substance use disorder. Buckhead Behavioral Health provides structured care through our outpatient programs that help people understand their addictions. From there, they can put abuse of ketamine and alcohol behind them and learn to embrace sober living. We provide multiple types of therapy for addiction and access to prescription medications to help ease withdrawal symptoms.

Visit our admissions page now to find out how easy it is to get started reclaiming your good physical and mental health. Our staff has answers to all your questions and can get you started on the road to health today.

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