Ketamine, or ketamine hydrochloride, is a non-barbiturate, rapid-acting disassociative anesthetic used in the medical community mainly by veterinarians or for minor surgery for pediatric or geriatric patients. It has also been used in dentistry and in experimental psychotherapy.
Effects of Ketamine Abuse
Ketamine produces physical and mental effects. A low dose, of around 25-100 mg, produces psychedelic effects quickly. Large doses can produce vomiting and convulsions and can starve the brain and muscles of oxygen. One gram can cause death.
Because the effects are so quickly felt, a user may lose motor control before the injection is even complete.
Ketamine may produce feelings from euphoria to paranoia to boredom. There are hallucinogenic effects and perception is impaired, intensifying colors and sounds. Ketamine may also relieve tension and anxiety, and is alleged to be a sexual stimulant. Ketamine is an anesthetic and prevents the user from feeling pain. Therefore, a ketamine user is often not aware when something is wrong, and the numbness may lead to increased use, sometimes to the point of death.
Ketamine creates effects similar to phencyclidine, commonly known as PCP or Angel Dust, as the two drugs have a similar molecular structure. Some of the effects produced by ketamine include:
- Loss of coordination
- Sense of invulnerability
- Muscle rigidity
- Aggressive/violent behavior
- Slurred or blocked speech
- An exaggerated sense of strength
- Blank stare
- Increased heart rate
- Depressed respiration
Use of ketamine commonly provides an out-of-body or near-death experience for the user. This is the effect that a ketamine user is seeking, as it allows them to disassociate themselves from their own consciousness, called k-hole.
If a ketamine user reaches the point of a k-hole, they are in danger of mental damage beyond repair. Ketamine can leave the user comatose. Or the ketamine user may develop a permanent neurosis with periodic episodes of complete consciousness perforation, leading to insanity beyond psychological assistance.
A ketamine high usually lasts an hour, but effects can persist 4 – 6 hours. It is usually 24-48 hours before the ketamine user feels completely back to normal. It can take from several months to two years for the effects of chronic use of ketamine to wear off. Flashbacks may even be experienced a year after the last ketamine use.
Ketamine use can lead to a vicious obsession. The Ketamine user can become dependent physically and psychologically without even realizing it. Ketamine becomes central to every thought, turning into an obsession that rules the ketamine user. This cycle of obsession is the factor that leads to ketamine use to the point of death.
Forms of Ketamine
Ketamine is most potent when injected intramuscularly or intravenously. It usually comes in liquid form but can be made into tablets. Ketamine may also be converted to a powder for smoking or snorting, by evaporating the liquid and reducing it to a fine white powder.
Ketamine’s appearance is often mistaken for cocaine or crystal methamphetamine. It is sometimes sold as ecstasy and mixed with other drugs such as ephedrine and caffeine.
Street Names for Ketamine
Ketamine is also known on the street as K, ket, special K, vitamin K, vit K, kit kat, keller, kelly’s day, green, blind squid, cat valium, purple, special la coke, super acid, and super C. Slang descriptors for experiences or effects of ketamine include k-hole, K-land, baby food, and God.
It is marketed as Ketalar or Ketaset to veterinarians and medical personnel and classified as a Schedule II drug, having a high abuse potential with severe psychic or physical dependence liability. (Cocaine and methamphetamine are also Schedule II drugs.) Ketamine is considered a controlled substance only in California, Connecticut, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.
The Drug Enforcement Administration reports that ketamine abuse appears mostly in San Diego, New York, Miami, and Newark, DE, although use is also reported in New Jersey, D.C., Florida, and Georgia. Increasingly, young people are using it as a club drug at raves and parties. However, cafeteria use, which refers to the use of a number of hallucinogenic and sedative/hypnotic club drugs (such as MDMA, GHB, LSD, and prescription drugs) is reported almost everywhere in the U.S.
Drug Treatment for Ketamine
Transitions Recovery drug treatment center offers hope for those suffering from the obsessive clutches of ketamine.
Our professional drug treatment center staff is experienced in helping youth and people of all ages recover from drug and alcohol abuse. We provide a compassionate, supportive environment in our North Miami Beach, Florida, drug treatment center.
Admissions can be accepted 7 days a week. Trained addiction professionals conduct individual assessments that address each individual’s treatment needs. You’ll find our ketamine drug treatment programs offer access to a continuum of care that provides the intensity of therapy appropriate throughout each stage of recovery, from extended residential care to lifetime aftercare services. The individual program incorporates leading forms of therapy that have proven effective in addressing underlying causes of ketamine drug use, dual diagnosis, and issues with family, employers, school and the legal system.
We work individually with patients suffering from ketamine addiction as well as in group sessions and a Family Program, after ketamine detoxification if necessary. Emphasis on recovery from methadone addiction and maintained sobriety helps prepare the patient for gradual re-entry into society, individually as well as in group sessions and a Family Program. Emphasis on recovery from ketamine addiction and maintained sobriety helps prepare the patient for gradual re-entry into society.
Ketamine treatment does not need to be voluntary. Often, a family member, employer, or the court system can be the motivating factor for an individual receiving drug treatment for ketamine.