Dissociative Anesthetics Addiction Treatment

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Dissociative anesthetic drugs

Dissociative anesthetic drugs are a category of hallucinogens that were originally used for medical purposes in the early to mid-1900s to anesthetize patients during procedures and surgeries. Ketamine and phencyclidine (PCP) are the main dissociative drugs that are abused as street drugs today. Dextromethorphan (DXM) is another dissociative drug that is used in over-the-counter cough suppressants and is often abused by adolescents.

The term “dissociative” refers to the dissociation of brainstem functions from higher cortical areas, which are responsible for altering pain sensations and other stimuli during medical procedures. This dissociation is known to cause brief amnesia; hence, patients do not remember what specifically occurred during their surgery or procedure.

Ketamine addiction

Ketamine is a tranquilizer, analgesic and dissociative anesthetic commonly used in surgeries and procedures for adults, humans and animals. It blocks the neurotransmitter glutamate at its receptor, resulting in a trance-like dissociative state. It replaced the medical use of PCP in the 1960s and was originally used to induce anesthesia in soldiers undergoing procedures on the battlefield during the Vietnam War.

Ketamine is still widely used in human and veterinary medicine today. The Drug Enforcement Agency classifies ketamine as a Schedule III drug, and it is commonly used as a street drug, as it can be synthetically produced in a laboratory. Ketamine is commonly used among partygoers and clubbers. Street names include special K, vitamin K, kit kat, cat Valium and many others.

Ketamine is odorless and tasteless and is available as a clear liquid or a white crystalline powder. The liquid form is injected and mixed into drinks. Due to its amnesia effects, this drug is used as a “date rape” drug, because sexual predators slip it into their victims’ drinks to render them unconscious. The powdered form can be snorted, compressed into pills or used for intravenous injection when dissolved. Ketamine is difficult to manufacture and, as a result, is commonly isolated from pharmaceutical drugs used for human or veterinary use. It is commonly imported from Mexico. Due to the potential physical and mental harm caused by ketamine use, ketamine addiction treatment can be vital to help someone regain their life.

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a disease that manipulates a person’s sense of reward, motivation, memory and a number of related neurological functions.

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Acute symptoms of dissociative anesthetics

The use of dissociative drugs may produce some of the symptoms listed below in users:

  • Sedation
  • Euphoria
  • Trance-like state
  • Dissociation from environment
  • Aggression
  • Amnesia
  • Slurred speech
  • Agitation
  • Dilated pupils
  • Involuntary muscle movements
  • Numbness
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PCP addiction

PCP is a street drug that may cause hallucinations and out-of-body experiences; it can also cause strength, power and invulnerability. It is no longer used as a dissociative anesthetic in medicine and is known more commonly as an inexpensive street drug. It is commonly known on the street as angel dust, ozone, wack, rocket fuel and dust. PCP is generally very inexpensive to make and can be manufactured in an underground laboratory and sold on the street.

PCP is a glutamate antagonist at the NMDA receptor and has longer-acting effects than ketamine. Additionally, the side effects are more drastic, and PCP is more likely to cause seizures, amnesia and acute anxiety. The acute presentation of PCP varies greatly, but vertical and horizontal nystagmus (back-and-forth repetitive eye movement) is a clinically diagnostic feature of acute PCP intoxication. Tremors, facial grimaces, high blood pressure, hyperactivity and severe aggression can also be seen in acute intoxication.

PCP treatment options

Like other dissociative anesthetics, no proven antidote is known to alleviate symptoms of PCP intoxication. Supportive care is the mainstay PCP treatment. Close monitoring of vital signs and seizure prevention are important in the management of PCP intoxication. Many individuals may be extremely aggressive. Safe physical restraints and chemical sedation with benzodiazepines are the preferred treatment in these cases.

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PCP addiction treatment

PCP is an extremely addictive substance and withdrawal symptoms should be closely monitored. Inpatient and outpatient drug addiction therapy is recommended for PCP addiction treatment. Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Coma
  • Suicide
  • Death
  • Lack of impulse control
  • Memory loss
  • Decreased reflexes
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Drug treatment at Sovereign Health

Sovereign Health’s treatment programs are carefully tailored to each patient’s unique needs, so that our patients can receive the highest level of care possible.

The safest way to detox is in a supervised and safe environment to combat the physical addiction. Individuals typically require intensive outpatient or residential addiction treatment that includes counseling, therapy, support groups and education.

The most effective treatments for drug abuse and dependence incorporate cognitive behavioral therapies that are designed to help modify patients’ thinking and behaviors alongside equipping them with skills to cope with stress. Group therapy in combination with behavioral interventions may be effective in supporting long-term recovery. For further information about our drug treatment programs, please call our 24/7 helpline.