Ketamine is as anesthetic drug used as medicine in both human and veterinary sciences. It is often known by other names such as special k, k, kett, cat valium amongst others. In its legal form ketamine is found as a liquid. When used as a recreational drug it can be injected or ingested orally and is common to find in powder which can be snorted. Ketamine was first synthesized in 1965 in the hopes of finding an alternative anesthetic to PCP.
The United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) believes that over 80% of the ketamine used recreationally illegally in America comes from Mexico. In the Unites States of America ketamine is classed a Schedule III substance. This means that if caught in possession of ketamine one could face up to five years in imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $250,000 In the United Kingdom ketamine is a Class C drug. This means that anyone found in possession could face 2 years in jail and/or an unlimited fine. If charged with possession and intent to supply one could face up to 14 years in jail and/or an unlimited fine.
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine on the street often comes in the form of powdered/crushed crystal with a bitter taste. Ketamine's full name is 2-(2-chlorophenyl)-2-(methylamino)-cyclohexanone with a chemical formula of:
Ketamine is often mixed with ephedrine (used for allergies) by dealers in order to bulk and impure the powder to make more profit.
Ketamine has a short acting hallucinatory effect usually lasting for 60 minutes when snorted and up to two hours when injected or taken orally.
Effects of Ketamine include a sense of detachment from the body and external world. When taken in large amounts a stronger effect, often referred to as a 'k hole' is felt. A k hole consists of heavy dissociation believed to be similar to the effects felt by schizophrenia.
Ketamine users may not be able to move physically when high (ataxia). Ketamine can induce panic attacks, depression and make existing mental disorders worse. While high on ketamine the user may experience slurred speech and nausea.
Those using ketamine are at risk of serious physical injury due to the anesthetic affect numbing pain felt. Medical research is being done but it is believed that ketamine may cause a shrunken bladder.
High doses of ketamine suppress breathing and heart function. This can lead to unconsciousness and even death.
Ketamine is not believed to cause a physical dependency so no physical withdrawals are felt. Long term usage may create feelings of tension, a poor attention span and restlessness when abstinent from ketamine.
Ketamine can create a psychological addiction and dependency. Because of this someone who develops the addiction is likely to keep using with complete disregard for potential harm to themselves. It is common for someone who uses regularly to have an increasing tolerance making it more dangerous for addicts as they feel the need to use more and more to get the same high as before. When unable to obtain ketamine, an addict may experience anxiety, depression and insomnia due to an inability to associate pleasurable experiences without ketamine involved.