Ketamine withdrawal and detox

Ketamine detox is like a deep cleaning of your body and mind. It is the first step in the battle against ketamine addiction and helps set the foundations for successful long-term recovery. At Banbury Lodge, we understand how daunting ketamine detox can be, especially if you are unsure about what detox involves. We want to explain the reality of this life-changing process so that anyone who needs ketamine detox reaches out for help as soon as possible.

Ketamine detox

What is ketamine detox?

Ketamine detox is the process of removing ketamine from the body and breaking the physical dependence on the drug. This can be a physically and mentally challenging process so as with all forms of drug detox, it is safest and most effective when undergone at a professional clinic like Banbury Lodge.

The benefits of ketamine detox include:

  • Freedom from physical ketamine dependency: This can help you regain control of your life and give you the best starting point for the next stages of recovery.
  • Improved physical health: Ketamine use can cause serious physical harm to the body but ketamine detox will allow your body to heal from the damage caused by prolonged drug use. This can lead to improved physical health and an overall improvement in your well-being.
  • Improved mental clarity: Ketamine use can also cause cognitive impairment and mental fog. Ketamine detox helps to clear the mind and improve cognitive functioning, leading to increased mental clarity and improved decision-making skills.
  • Reduced risk of overdose: Overdose is always a risk for anyone who uses ketamine so detoxing from ketamine will help keep you safe.
  • Improved relationships: Ketamine addiction can strain relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. Ketamine detox can help to repair relationships with family, friends and colleagues that have been affected by ketamine use.

How does ketamine detox work?

Ketamine dependence develops as a result of the drug’s impact on the brain’s reward system. When you take ketamine, it triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that creates feelings of pleasure and reward. With continued use, your brain adapts to the presence of ketamine by reducing the number of dopamine receptors and lowering dopamine production.

If you then stop taking ketamine, it takes a while before your brain starts producing dopamine naturally again. This leads to a chemical imbalance which is what causes ketamine withdrawal symptoms. There are only two ways to address this chemical imbalance; start taking ketamine again or complete ketamine detox and allow the readjustment and healing processes to play out.

What are common ketamine withdrawal symptoms?

As with all forms of hallucinogens detox, the withdrawal symptoms you will experience during ketamine detox will vary depending on factors such as the duration and frequency of ketamine use, your individual health status and the presence of co-occurring disorders. However, common ketamine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Cravings
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Paranoia

Some of these ketamine withdrawal symptoms can be very dangerous which is why attempting to withdraw from ketamine at home is never recommended. Without professional medical support, the risk of relapse and overdose is high with reduced tolerance due to a period of abstinence while you were going “cold turkey” increases the chances of overdose.

Ketamine detox - man feeling nauseous

Ketamine withdrawal timeline

Both the intensity and duration of the ketamine withdrawal also vary from person to person but a typical ketamine withdrawal timeline will look something like this:

zero to twenty-four hours after the last use…

Ketamine withdrawal symptoms may begin within a few hours to a day after the last use of ketamine. Initial symptoms may include anxiety, irritability, restlessness, insomnia and increased cravings for ketamine.

twenty-four to seventy-two hours…

Ketamine withdrawal symptoms may become more severe during this time period. Physical symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, tremors, intense perspiration, chills and muscle aches. Psychological symptoms may include mood swings, depression and difficulty concentrating.

Three to seven days…

Symptoms of ketamine withdrawal will likely peak during this time and in the most severe cases you may even experience hallucinations, delusions and seizures. Medical assistance is particularly important at this point.

One to four weeks…

As the body continues to adjust to the absence of ketamine, symptoms of withdrawal may gradually subside. However, individuals may continue to experience psychological symptoms, such as anxiety and depression, for several weeks after stopping ketamine use.

Seeking professional medical help and support can greatly alleviate the symptoms of ketamine withdrawal and increase the chances of successful recovery.

Ketamine detox at Banbury Lodge

At Banbury Lodge, every aspect of our ketamine detox programmes is designed to give you the best possible start to recovery. Just some of the benefits include:

  • 24/7 medical care: Our ketamine detox programmes provide 24/7 care and support from our team of experienced medical professionals. This ensures a safe and comfortable ketamine where any issues that may arise are dealt with swiftly.
  • Inpatient ketamine detox: This means that you will stay at Banbury Lodge for the duration of your ketamine detox during which time you will have no access to drugs and no everyday stresses. We believe this provides the best possible environment to focus on healing.
  • Medical assessment: Upon arrival at Banbury Lodge, you will undergo a full medical assessment. This will help our medical team identify any co-occurring disorders and tailor an individualised ketamine detox plan to fit your individual recovery needs.
  • Medically assisted detox: Our medical team can also provide medically assisted detox, if necessary, to alleviate ketamine withdrawal symptoms and ensure a successful detox.
  • Access to our ketamine rehab programme: This involves evidence-based therapies to address the underlying causes of your condition and develop coping strategies for long-term recovery.

Do’s and don’ts of ketamine detox

Ketamine detox is a challenging but rewarding journey that requires commitment and dedication. While undergoing detox, it’s important to follow some basic guidelines to ensure a safe and comfortable experience. With that in mind, here are some do’s and don’ts of ketamine detox:


  • Follow the ketamine detox plan outlined by your medical team
  • Commit as long as necessary to ketamine detox
  • Communicate openly and honestly with your medical team about your symptoms and concerns
  • Stay hydrated and eat healthy foods to support your body during ketamine detox
  • Practice self-care, such as meditation, exercise and getting enough rest.
  • Celebrate each milestone on your journey to recovery


  • Attempt to detox from ketamine on your own without medical supervision
  • Use other drugs or alcohol during ketamine detox as it can interfere with the process and increase the risk of relapse
  • Isolate yourself from friends and family during ketamine detox as social support is crucial for successful recovery.
  • Be too hard on yourself or give up if you experience setbacks or challenges during ketamine detox

How to help a loved one who is undergoing ketamine detox

Support from friends and family can greatly help individuals through the ketamine detox process but it can be difficult to know what the best course of action is. This is particularly true if your loved one has been struggling for a while and you have lost a little hope that they can get better. To give your loved one the best chance of success, here are some tips on how to support them during ketamine detox:

Help your loved one into professional ketamine detox

The first and most important way you can help your loved one is to encourage them to undergo professional ketamine detox. This will give them the best chance of recovery and ensure that they don’t put themselves in any danger attempting to detox from ketamine at home.

Educate yourself about ketamine detox

It’s important to learn as much as possible about the ketamine detox process to understand what your loved one is going through. This can help you provide better support and encourage them to continue with the detox process.

Provide emotional support and encouragement

Individuals undergoing ketamine detox often experience intense emotional and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Providing emotional support and encouragement can help your loved one stay motivated and positive during the ketamine detox process and remind them that they are not alone.

Join a support group

Support groups provide a safe and supportive environment for the families of individuals undergoing detox to connect with others who are going through similar experiences. Participating in support groups can provide you with a sense of community and help give you the energy and motivation you need when things get tough.

Ketamine detox - support group

Celebrate milestones and accomplishments

Celebrating milestones and accomplishments, no matter how small, can show that you are on the journey with your loved one and encourage them to continue with the ketamine detox process.

Avoid enabling behaviours and set healthy boundaries

Enabling behaviours – such as providing money or making excuses for your loved one’s behaviour – can hinder their recovery. Setting healthy boundaries can help them take responsibility for their actions and commit to ketamine detox and recovery.

How to start ketamine detox

If you or a loved one is ready to start ketamine detox, Banbury Lodge is here to support you. Our ketamine detox programme provides a safe and comfortable environment for you to begin the healing process and achieve long-term recovery. Contact us today to speak with our admissions team and learn more about our incredible ketamine detox programmes.

Frequently asked questions

Can I die from ketamine withdrawal?
While ketamine withdrawal can be uncomfortable and distressing, it is generally not life-threatening. However, in rare cases, severe withdrawal symptoms such as seizures, respiratory distress or cardiovascular complications can occur. Seeking professional medical help during ketamine detox can greatly reduce the risk of these complications and ensure a safe and comfortable detox experience.
Is ketamine detox alone a cure?
Ketamine detox is an important first step in overcoming dependency, but it is not a cure on its own. Successful recovery requires ongoing commitment and support to maintain sobriety and prevent relapse. Banbury Lodge can help you with every stage of this process to give yourself the best chance of success.
Will I need medication for ketamine withdrawal symptoms?
Your medical team may decide to use medication to manage severe withdrawal symptoms during ketamine detox with the type and dosage of medication depending on your symptoms and medical history.
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Who am I contacting?

Calls and contact requests are answered by admissions at

UK Addiction Treatment Group.

We look forward to helping you take your first step.

0203 553 3757