What is ketamine?
Medical professionals and veterinarians utilize ketamine for sale as an anesthetic. People use it illegally to get high. Ketamine is an anesthetic that is used to induce and maintain anesthesia. It causes dissociative anesthesia, a trance-like state that relieves pain while also delivering sleepiness and amnesia.
Ketamine is a dissociative drug, meaning it affects distinct substances in the brain, causing visual and aural distortion as well as a sense of disconnection from reality.
Ketamine is frequently marketed as a white or off-white powder when it is sold illegally. It can also be dissolved in a liquid or turned into pills. 1
Ketamine is being tested in clinical trials and studies as a therapy for depression. Early signs point to positive outcomes.
How is it used?
Ketamine is available for purchase. It can be injected, snorted, or ingested. It’s also smoked with cannabis or tobacco on occasion. If injected, the effects of ketamine can be felt in one minute, 5–15 minutes if snorted, and up to 30 minutes if eaten. Its effects can persist for around an hour, although it can influence a person’s coordination or perceptions for up to 24 hours after first using it.
Effects of ketamine
There is no such thing as a safe level of drug consumption. Any medicine has a risk associated with it. When using any kind of medication, it’s critical to be cautious.
Ketamine affects everyone differently, based on:
- size, weight and health
- whether the person is used to taking it
- whether other drugs are taken around the same time
- the amount taken
- the strength of the drug (varies from batch to batch)
The following effects may be experienced:
- feeling happy and relaxed
- feeling detached from your body (‘falling into a k-hole’)
- visual and auditory hallucinations
- confusion and clumsiness
- increased heart rate and blood pressure
- slurred speech and blurred vision
- anxiety, panic and violence
- lowered sensitivity to pain3,4,6
You could overdose if you consume a lot of ketamine or have a particularly potent batch.
Due to its capacity to create unconsciousness with no impact on airway reflexes or blood circulation, the risk of fatality from ketamine alone is modest. Individuals who are under the effect of ketamine, on the other hand, are at a higher risk of physical harm/accidents.
- Call an ambulance straight away by dialling triple zero (000) if you or someone else has any of these symptoms (ambulance officers don’t need to involve the police): inability to move, rigid muscles
- high blood pressure, fast heartbeat
- unconsciousness and ‘near death’ experiences
The day after using ketamine, you may experience:
- memory loss
- impaired judgement, disorientation
- aches and pains
Regular use of ketamine may eventually cause:
- poor sense of smell (from snorting)
- mood and personality changes, depression
- poor memory, thinking and concentration
- abnormal liver or kidney function
- ketamine bladder syndrome (see below)
- abdominal pain
- needing to use more to get the same effect
- dependence on ketamine
- financial, work and social problems3,6
Ketamine bladder syndrome
Large, repeated doses of ketamine may eventually cause ‘ketamine bladder syndrome’, a painful condition needing ongoing treatment.
Symptoms include difficulty holding in urine, incontinence, which can cause ulceration in the bladder.
Anyone suffering from ketamine bladder syndrome needs to stop using ketamine and see a health professional.3
Using ketamine with other drugs
The effects of taking ketamine with other drugs– including over-the-counter or prescribed medications – can be unpredictable and dangerous, and could cause:
- Ketamine + alcohol or opiates: When use with other depressant drugs, the combined effects may lead to the functioning of the heart or lungs to slow or stop, and can result in death.68
- Ketamine + amphetamines, ecstasy and cocaine: enormous strain on the body, which can lead to fast heart rate.3,8
‘Polydrug use’ is a term for the use of more than one drug or type of drug at the same time, or one after another. Polydrug use can involve both illicit drugs and legal substances, such as alcohol and medications. Find out more about polydrug use.
Giving up ketamine after a long time is challenging because the body has to get used to functioning without it. Please seek advice from a health professional. Symptoms include:
- cravings for ketamine
- no appetite
- chills, sweating
- restlessness, tremors
- nightmares, anxiety, depression
- irregular and rapid heartbeat
- risk of inujry3