Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic, developed in the early 1960s for use in human and veterinary medicine. The drug is mainly used for anesthesia.
In the 1950s, phencyclidine (PCP) was developed as an intravenous general anesthetic, but due to its serious side effects, ketamine was developed to replace it. MXE (Methoxetamine) is also a similar drug made from aryl cyclohexylamine.
Ketamine is a Schedule III drug, which means it is approved for use as an anesthetic in hospitals and other medical settings. It is safe and effective when used in a controlled medical environment, but it also has the potential for abuse and addiction.
Also known as: Ketamine’s various street names include K, Special K, Vitamin K, super acid, super c, bump, cat Valium, green, honey oil, special la coke, and jet.
Drug category: Ketamine is an NMDA receptor antagonist. It has anesthesia, dissociation and hallucinogenic effects.
Common side effects: Ketamine can cause side effects, including increased blood pressure, tremors, hallucinations, confusion, and agitation.
How to recognize ketamine
Ketamine is usually a transparent liquid or white to off-white powder. It can also be sold illegally in the form of pills or capsules. It is tasteless and odorless.
What does ketamine do?
In a medical setting, ketamine is injected intravenously to induce and maintain anesthesia.When used for recreation, it can be taken orally in pill or capsule form. In liquid form, it can be injected into a vein, consumed in a drink, or added to a smokable material. Some people also inject drugs into the muscle.
The effect of ketamine is similar to that of pentachlorophenol, but it is not as severe and has a shorter duration. People who use ketamine describe orgasm as the pleasure of floating or a state of separation from the body. The drug can produce a hallucinogenic effect, and the duration is very short, ranging from one to two hours.
Some people describe a feeling of complete sensory separation, and they associate this feeling with near-death experiences.
Others describe this experience as an experience deep in the heart, so much so that reality seems far away. This completely dissociated state is called “k-hole”.
Click play to learn more about K-hole
What the experts say
There are few studies on the long-term effects of ketamine abuse, but studies have shown that long-term use of the drug can cause memory impairment and reduce mental health.
Studies have found that the use of ketamine can cause urinary tract problems. People who use ketamine report increased urge to urinate, blood in the urine, and painful urination.
For people who use ketamine for leisure, in addition to the long-term cognitive effects, many of the dangers are related to the interaction of other drugs (including alcohol) that the person may be taking.
Ketamine can increase the effects of other sedatives, such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and opioids, which can cause death.
As a street drug, ketamine has become a popular “club drug”, used by teenagers and young people in dance clubs and activities called carnivals. Since it is odorless and tasteless, it can be added to beverages without being detected, so there are also reports that it is used as a date rape drug. In addition to making the victim unable to move, it can also cause amnesia, making it difficult to recall events that occurred under the influence.
Ketamine has been shown to have antidepressant effects in patients with mood disorders, so it is sometimes used intravenously to help treat major depression and bipolar disorder.
In 2019, the FDA approved an intranasal form of ketamine for the treatment of resistant depression.There is a lot to learn about the safety and long-term effects of ketamine used in psychiatry.
Some studies have also found that ketamine can reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Common side effects
Some common short-term side effects people experience include:
- Visual impairment
- Confusion and disorientation
- Increased heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Nausea and vomiting
Depending on the dosage, some people may experience these more serious side effects of ketamine:
- Severe allergic reaction
- Low blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythm
- Difficulty speaking
- Abnormal action
- Slowed or depressed breathing
Signs of use
Some signs that someone may be using ketamine include:
- Changes in sleeping habits
- Mood changes
- Difficulty speaking
- Memory problem
- lose the way
- The existence of drug paraphernalia
Usually, the external symptoms of ketamine overdose are mental effects, including dreams, hallucinations, and hallucinations—similar to the use of LSD and PCP. Benzodiazepines can be given to reduce agitation. However, this requires caution, because ketamine is usually not the only drug ingested in the case of an overdose of ketamine. Excessive sedation and drug interactions are a problem.
If you think someone has overdose of ketamine or other substances, please contact emergency services immediately.
Tolerance, dependence and withdrawal
The use of ketamine can cause tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms. When tolerance occurs, people need larger or more frequent drug doses to achieve the same effect they initially felt. Dependence occurs when a person needs to continue taking medication to avoid the negative effects of withdrawal.
How long does ketamine stay in your system?
The half-life of ketamine is about three hours, Which means that it takes approximately 14 to 18 hours for the drug to be eliminated from a person’s system. However, the exact time frame depends on many factors, including how much medication is used and the individual’s weight, hydration level, and metabolism.
Although ketamine may be cleared from the body within a day or two, it can be detected in a urine test for up to 14 days and a hair follicle test for up to 90 days.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported in 2019 that less than 0.1% of 12th graders had used ketamine in the past year.
Addiction to ketamine can cause chemical changes in the brain’s reward system, making it very difficult to stop taking the drug. Because ketamine creates a sense of alienation, once people become addicted, they often experience major damage in multiple areas of life.
Signs of addiction may include neglecting work and family responsibilities and spending large amounts of money on drugs. The high concentration of ketamine is short-lived, and tolerance tends to build up quickly, which means that people who use it need to increase the amount to get the same results.
For people who use the drug, it may also be difficult to gauge how much drug they need to achieve the desired effect, which may lead to overdose.
Once people become tolerant, dependent or addicted to ketamine, they are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking it. The severity of these symptoms varies from mild to severe.
Withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Loss of appetite
- Chills or sweating
Since ketamine withdrawal symptoms can sometimes be severe, it may be helpful to complete the detoxification and withdrawal process under the supervision of a well-trained addiction rehabilitation professional.
How to get help
Although ketamine use and addiction are serious, there are still effective treatment options. Treatment options may include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, or other methods.
Treatment can be carried out on the basis of inpatient, outpatient or hospitalization.
Although there are no specific drugs approved for the treatment of ketamine addiction, interventions may include the use of drugs to treat concurrent mental illness.