What Is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a dissociative drug that has pain-killing and hallucinogenic effects. It has been widely used as general anesthesia in humans and animals since 1970, and its illegal manufacture and misuse started soon after.
The use of ketamine produces trancelike and euphoric symptoms making it popular for illicit use as a party drug. In addition, along with GHB, Rohypnol, and other drugs, ketamine is used as a date rape drug because of its ability to leave the user feeling detached from reality with impaired memory.
Common slang terms include:
- Special K
- Super K
- Vitamin K
- Super C
The effects of ketamine in low doses are joyful and disconnected, commonly referred to as “k land.” In contrast, at high doses, experiences of being unable to move and hallucinating are introduced, called a “k hole” experience or “falling into a k hole.”
Injecting ketamine is becoming increasingly popular because the k hole state is more probable and experienced more intensely. However, recreational use to fall into a k hole, experience other hallucinations, and improve sex drive has caused a crackdown on its usage, increasing its criminality in many countries.
Individuals have had out of body experiences at higher doses of ketamine with sensations of floating, severe disorientation, hysteria, and near death experiences without being able to move or speak.
Ketamine works by blocking NMDA receptors in the brain, responsible for sensory input, memory function, and emotion. This inhibition primarily causes its ability to eliminate intense pain.
The most common side effects involve:
- Nausea and vomiting
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Feelings of uneasiness or feeling unwell
Long Term Side Effects
Chronic ketamine users were found to have poor working, and verbal recognition memory compared to individuals who rarely use, stopped using, or have never used. Furthermore, attention and episodic memory problems, such as forgetting special dates or specific events, may be permanent with recreational users.
Ketamine for Depression
In 2006, studies published by the National Institute of Mental Health found that low ketamine dosages had a considerable antidepressant effect on patients. During a study, 10 U.S. soldiers given a single ketamine infusion had decreased feelings of helplessness and suicidal ideation. Several cases have demonstrated consistent results with ketamine infusion therapy.
Although ketamine treatment has a faster delivery than most antidepressants, the same dose that proved effective for individuals with treatment-resistant depression produced behaviors like symptoms of schizophrenia and a condition similar to a dissociative state.
Ketamine is almost identical to PCP in its chemical structure but with one-tenth the potency. It is commercially manufactured as a powder or liquid and has addictive properties with high abuse potential. Additionally, like many club drugs, its use usually occurs in combination with other substance use, including alcohol, MDMA, cocaine, amphetamines, and caffeine.
More than half of individuals abusing ketamine report withdrawal symptoms including:
- Aggressive or hostile behavior
- Excessive yawning
How to Get Help
If you or a loved one is struggling with ketamine addiction, getting medical advice from a professional who can provide educated substance abuse support and recommend an appropriate level of treatment is the first step.
Northridge Addiction Treatment Center’s residential treatment program provides a calm, supportive environment, surrounded by comfort, to achieve personal growth and promote a meaningful recovery.
At NATC, our highly trained team recognizes untreated mental health issues can cause alcohol or drug abuse. Our dual diagnosis program addresses each disorder separately, increasing the chance of lasting rehabilitation.
Our specialists are available to answer any questions confidentially and free of cost. Don’t wait, get help — call today.
Our caring and compassionate specialists are eager to help you comfortably navigate this journey to recovery. Our individualized treatment plan, programs, and therapies may be a perfect match for you or your loved one. Let us assist you in living the happy life you deserve. It starts with a phone call.