What is Ketamine?
Ketamine was discovered in 1962 as a replacement anesthetic for PCP, which causes long lasting and severe hallucinogenic effects upon recovery of consciousness and is not suitable for humans because it often presents other psychotic symptoms such as delusions, deliriums, and even psychosis. Ketamine can be used in powder or liquid form as an anesthetic, usually on animals. It is mainly used for starting or maintaining anesthesia. It is also commonly used for pain management, depression and recreation. Today, it is used as an anesthetic for children or individuals undergoing minor surgeries, but its main purpose is for veterinary use because of the hallucinogenic effects it may produce in humans. It is the type of medication used to induce loss of consciousness, produce relaxation and relieve pain in both humans and animals.
- According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Ketamine had been used by 1.5% of 12th graders in 2014. This compares to 3.3% for those who abused OxyContin and 4.8% who abused Vicodin.
- In 2013, 41,000 people between age 12 and 17 reported using Ketamine at some point in their lives, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
- SAMHSA also reported that almost 540,000 people between 18 and 25 reporting Ketamine use at some point.
Ketamine’s effects are so powerful, it is commonly referred to as a “date rape drug” because of the effects of having a difficult time moving and entering a dreamlike state. Ketamine is colorless and odorless which makes it a candidate for being categorized this way. The drug moves very quickly through the system and can cause the victim to not be able to move despite being aware of what is occurring.
It is easy to abuse ketamine because of its potency; it is more powerful than speed or coke, and it is easy to accidently overdose. It is easy to develop a tolerance for the drug causing the user to require more and more in order to obtain the same results they originally experienced. In some cases, ketamine experiences can involve a terrifying feeling of almost complete sensory loss. These experiences are similar to a “bad trip” on LSD, and are called the “k-hole”. Mixing the drug with alcohol and heroin intensifies the dangers of respiratory depression, which can be deadly.
The symptoms and side effects of ketamine are similar to the symptoms of alcohol abuse and may include:
- Feelings of detachment/dissociation
- Slowed or difficulty breathing
- Mood Changes
- Impaired ability to think or learn
- Nausea and vomiting
- Memory Impairment
Ketamine also causes long-term damage to the bladder and urinary tract that can result in a condition known as ketamine bladder syndrome. This triggers decreased control of the bladder with incontinence. Ketamine bladder syndrome may also cause blood in the urine and ulcers in the bladder.
Most of ketamine that is sold on the streets has come from a veterinarian’s office. Common street names for ketamine are:
- Cat Valium
- Cat Tranquilizer
- Special K
- Super K
- Vitamin K
- Kit Kat
There are multiple ways Ketamine can be used as a club drug. A person can put the powder or liquid forms into your drink. They could give someone it in pill form. In powder form, it can be mixed in with other drugs (Cocaine or possibly marijuana). Be sure to protect yourself when out in public. Protect your drinks and don’t take anything that you are unsure of what it is.
If you or someone you love may be struggling with the addiction of ketamine or other substances, please seek Help today. There are options that will fit your needs, and your personal struggle of addiction.