Ketamine and Alcohol

The combination of ketamine and alcohol can have serious, sometimes life-threatening effects. Individuals who mix ketamine and alcohol have an increased risk of urinary tract conditions, memory loss, slowed breathing, reduced heart rate, coma, and in some cases, death.

What Is Alcohol Abuse?

The majority of American adults will consume alcohol at least once in their life. Among those people, 6.7% will develop an alcohol addiction. Alcohol abuse is a severe problem characterized by drinking too much alcohol too frequently.

Typically, adults may be abusing alcohol if they drink alcohol in extreme quantities or for long periods without a break. If individuals feel they can’t cope or function normally without alcohol, this could indicate that they are experiencing a problem. Likewise, those with addictions may find remaining sober for an extended time challenging. It is essential to seek help via American addiction centers in this instance.

Alcohol abuse can take many different forms, especially as the intensity of drinking, how frequently somebody drinks, and the alcohol they choose to drink varies from person to person. Some individuals may drink continuously throughout the day, while others might binge heavily in one go and then have periods without alcohol. Others may mix alcohol with other substances, leading to co-occurring disorders.

As alcohol is widely accepted in many cultures and is often part of socializing and celebrating, recognizing when somebody has an addiction can be difficult.

Understanding Substance Abuse

Substance abuse occurs when an individual compulsively seeks out and uses a drug, despite any negative impacts it may be having on their physical and emotional health.

This could be the use of illegal drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, or prescription drugs, such as opioids. Although all addictions are unique to the individual and the substance, the psychological condition of addiction has similar behaviors associated with it.

Drug addiction, or substance use disorder (SUD), is a condition that creates physical changes in the brain, producing urges to use a drug even though it could result in harmful consequences.

When an individual develops a drug addiction, the brain creates strong connections that lead to intense urges to use. The substance floods the brain with high levels of feel-good chemicals, producing overwhelming feelings of pleasure that interrupt the normal, functioning reward system.

Drug addiction often starts with experimenting in a social, recreational setting, but this can rapidly become a problem when the frequency and dosage increase. The risk of becoming addicted to a substance varies depending on the drug, and some drugs, such as opioids, bring a higher risk than others.

Over time, those who use drugs may need increased amounts to experience the same feeling. They may even require the drug to feel good. As drug use becomes more frequent, it may become increasingly hard to function without it, and many people may find themselves preoccupied with obtaining it. Any attempts to stop using the drug may result in intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Anyone concerned about addiction must seek help as soon as possible. There are treatment options available via treatment centers, and addiction is treatable.

What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine, also known as special K, is a dissociative anesthetic drug used in medical procedures and sometimes to treat severe, chronic pain. The use of ketamine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1970. It is currently used as an anesthetic sedative for children, adults, and, more commonly, veterinary medicine.

In addition to this, ketamine has recently gained use as an antidepressant, especially for individuals who have not responded to other forms of treatment.

Pharmaceutical ketamine comes in a liquid solution, whereas recreational ketamine can be powder or liquid. When ketamine is taken in powder form, it is usually snorted, smoked alone, or combined with marijuana or tobacco. Liquid ketamine may be recreationally injected or mixed into drinks. It is also common for illicit ketamine to be cut with other drugs, such as amphetamine, cocaine, or ecstasy.

The effects can be felt almost immediately depending on how the drug is ingested. Users may experience a feeling of being calm or relaxed, and they may have distorted vision or sound and feel a disconnect from real life. Some people who use ketamine report experiencing hallucinations which usually last between thirty and sixty minutes. Users may also feel detached from their bodies, referred to as the k-hole.

Some other side effects and symptoms of ketamine use include:

  • Amnesia
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Increased body temperature
  • Being unable to communicate properly
  • Slurred speech
  • Respiratory problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils
  • Disorientation
  • Sedation
  • Overdose
  • Out of body experiences

Some individuals may have trouble coming round from the feeling of dissociation even after the high of ketamine has subsided. This disconnection from the world can be highly distressing. Studies have found that ketamine causes changes in brain neurochemistry, with regular users experiencing continued psychotic episodes, such as hallucinations.

Ketamine interrupts a person’s judgment, attention, and cognition, and it can also aggravate pre-existing mental disorders, such as depression. Frequent use of ketamine has been linked to depression, and studies have found that people who regularly engage in ketamine use are more likely to be living with depression than those who use it occasionally.

Mixing Ketamine With Other Drugs

Using ketamine in combination with other substances, including prescription medications, illicit drugs, and alcohol, can cause severe side effects. The results of mixing ketamine and other substances range from discomfort and pain to increased risks of physical or sexual assault and overdose.

Using ketamine with other substances results in more adverse side effects. It can be especially dangerous if mixed with other depressant drugs such as alcohol, opioids, or tranquilizers. These substances slow the central nervous system, which can cause confusion, slowed breathing, heart problems, coma, and even death.

Individuals who use ketamine with other substances are at a greater risk of becoming intoxicated to the extent they cannot regulate their bodies and actions. This can put them in danger as they may suffer from things such as asphyxiation. They may also pose a risk to others as they become more vulnerable to sexual assault.

Cocaine and ketamine are commonly combined in party scenes. The name given to this combination is Calvin Klein. Cocaine is regularly used to increase the feeling of other substances due to its stimulating effects, which can be dangerous, particularly with ketamine.

Ketamine is also often mixed with ecstasy and amphetamines, which increases the risk of high blood pressure.

The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol With Ketamine

Mixing ketamine with alcohol comes with severe consequences. Although ketamine and alcohol work by affecting different neurotransmitter systems, some of the physiological reactions are similar and thus increase the intensity of the effects.

The reaction of ketamine and central nervous system depressant drugs, including alcohol, can cause users to collapse or pass out. Due to the decreased ability to regulate one’s body when mixing ketamine and alcohol, there is also a chance of vomiting, choking, or overdosing. Mixing alcohol and ketamine also brings increased risks of memory loss, slowed breathing, coma, and in some cases, death.

It is thought that ketamine might contribute to urinary tract issues, including permanent damage to the urinary tract. The Global Drug Survey found that people who drink alcohol while using ketamine report more problems, including increased urinary frequency, pain while urinating, lower abdominal pain, slurred speech, and blood in their urine. To reduce the risk of these problems, people should avoid mixing alcohol and ketamine.

It is essential to be aware of the symptoms of an alcohol and ketamine overdose. If any of the following are experienced, it is vital to seek medical attention and support right away:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Vomiting
  • Clammy skin

The Takeaway?

Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic used in medical settings and for pain treatment. If abused or taken without medical supervision, ketamine can have severe, sometimes life-threatening, effects.

Support is available if a person experiences a ketamine addiction, drug abuse, or alcoholism. With appropriate addiction treatment, many can live a life free from the grips of addiction.

The first step in the recovery journey is seeking help. Get in touch with us today on (772) 444-88 to discuss the treatment and support we provide.

Begin the first day of the rest of your life

To find out more contact our team


A person suffering from anxiety disorder because they never found out the answer to the question: "what is an anxiety disorder"
Mental Health

What is an Anxiety Disorder?

And do I have an anxiety disorder? Sweaty palms. Rapid breath. Racing heartbeat. A feeling like you can’t get enough breath? Like the walls are

Read More »

Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner


As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns


Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine