About Ketamine

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Thinking of taking a break from regular use?

See the 'Making changes' page for more information on how to Manage withdrawal from drugs and alcohol.

Ketamine can be addictive when used regularly or in very high doses, which may lead to unpleasant symptoms when trying to stop or cut down. Many users think that hallucinogenic drugs do not have withdrawal symptoms, but this is not necessarily true. While the physical withdrawal symptoms from ketamine can be mild for many people, the psychological symptoms can be difficult.

Withdrawing from ketamine is different for everyone. Generally, withdrawal lasts for about 4 to 6 days but it can be shorter or longer depending on the person.

If you...


Experience loss of appetite

Are sweating or feeling very hot or very cold

Feel anxious

Experience low mood

Have nightmares

Have mild vision problems

Have headaches

Have cravings to use ketamine

Have difficulty sleeping



Try these things at home:

  • Follow a tapering plan from a health professional to reduce your dose slowly.
  • Consider counselling or support groups if feelings of anxiety and depression are getting worse.
  • Lean on a support network of friends, family and professionals.
  • Stick to a routine – waking up, eating well, keeping active and rewarding yourself with things that bring you joy.
  • Practise mindfulness by writing down your feelings, doing breathing exercises or meditating.

Have tremors

Experience increased vision problems (such as double vision)

Have intense cravings to use ketamine

Have rapid breathing

Experience increased anxiety

Experience increased low mood

Experience insomnia

Have a fast or irregular heartbeat

Have a migraine

Feel paranoid

Feel panicked or are having panic attacks

Call a doctor or Healthline (0800 611 116)

You can talk to your doctor about:

  • other medicines to help you get through withdrawal
  • rehab or withdrawal clinics in your area – visit Health Point to see what services are available.



Experience psychosis

Are acting violently towards others

Experience suicidal thoughts

Attempt suicide

Call 111 

These are signs that something isn’t right. You or the people around you should act quickly.

One Reddit user talks about the psychological challenges of stopping ketamine:

“I am able to go two weeks at most before I crack and do it again, my main problem is anxiety and depression, without k I sleep all day and am moody/ unmotivated.”

For more information on getting support for drug and alcohol use, see Finding support. 

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