What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic developed in 1963 to replace PCP and currently used in human anesthesia and veterinary medicine. Much of the ketamine sold on the street has been diverted from veterinarians’ offices. Ketamine’s chemical structure and mechanism of action are similar to those of PCP.
What are the street names/slang terms for it?
K, Cat Valium, Vitamin K, Special-K
What does it look like?
Although it is manufactured as an injectable liquid, in illicit use ketamine is generally evaporated to form a powder.
How is it used?
It can be snorted or swallowed.
Ketamine is odorless and tasteless, so it can be added to beverages without being detected, and it induces amnesia. Because of these properties, the drug is sometimes given to unsuspecting victims and used in the commission of sexual assaults referred to as “drug rape.”
What are its short-term effects?
Ketamine can cause dream-like states and hallucinations. Users report sensations ranging from a pleasant feeling of floating to being separated from their bodies. Some ketamine experiences involve a terrifying feeling of almost complete sensory detachment that is likened to a near-death experience. These experiences, similar to a “bad trip” on LSD, are called the “K-hole.”
Low-dose intoxication from ketamine results in impaired attention, learning ability, and memory .In high doses, ketamine can cause delirium, amnesia, impaired motor function, high blood pressure, depression, and potentially fatal respiratory problems.
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
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