Ketamine is a synthetic anaesthetic. It was brought onto the market in the form of an injection fluid. It is used as an anaesthetic for operations and as a pain killer for people as well as animals. Ketamine (Special K, Vitamin K, Keta) is also used as a recreational drug, in much lower dosages than used medically. As a drug it’s mostly available as a crystalline powder, but it can also be found occasionally in liquid form and (very occasionally) in pill form. Ketamine as a drug is a ‘dissociative psychedelic’. Dissociation means separation: the mental awareness is being separated from the physical awareness.
Ketamine was developed in 1962 as an anaesthetic for people as well as animals. It was brought onto the market on a large scale by the firm Parke-Davis under multiple brand names like Ketalar, Ketanest, Ketaset and Aneskin. During the war in Vietnam this drug was used to enable operations being done on American soldiers right on the battlefield. Ketamine is a relatively safe anaesthetic because it hardly suppresses one’s breathing and heartbeat. Due to unwanted side effects that occurred whilst recovering from the anaesthesia (disorientation, frightening dreams and hallucinations), ketamine is being used much less in clinical practice.
Specifically due to these side effects ketamine was experimented with in the therapeutic circuit. The American psychiatrist John Lilly published his book ‘The Scientist’ in 1978. In it he wrote about his own experiments with ketamine. In Russia, psychiatrists treated alcoholics with ketamine, with differing outcomes.
During the 90’s ketamine starts to come up in the New York and British club circuit. Ketamine starts being written about in a lot of different lifestyle magazines. At the end of the 90’s ketamine is found in alternative circuits around the Netherlands.
Nowadays, ketamine is still used in veterinary surgeries. On people it’s used for treatment of chronic (nerve) pain and with burns. It’s also still used on young children and older people, because they’re a lot less sensitive to the side effects, also because it suppresses the breathing a lot less. It’s almost always administered in combination with benzodiazepines to suppress the hallucinations.
Since the year 2000, there is a newfound interest in ketamine for its antidepressant effects. There are several scientists researching this now (2015), to see if it is suitable as an official treatment.
Ketamine falls under the drug supply law, which means only doctors can prescribe and apply it. Check the theme Drugs and the law for more information.↑ Back to menu↑ Back to top
On the drug market, ketamine most commonly occurs as a crystal-like powder. It’s usually snorted. Ketamine can also occur in liquid form. Then it can be injected in the muscle tissue for a really powerful experience. The liquid can also be boiled, then only the crystal-like powder will remain. Ketamine in pill form is hardly found in the Netherlands. The biggest part of the ketamine that is used recreationally, is produced within the pharmaceutical industry and later finds its way into the illegal circuit.
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To indicate a dosage is always difficult. With what dosage you reach the desired effect, depends on the effect that you desire. Do you only want to feel a little bit vague or do you want a real ketamine trip or do you want to reach the k-hole? In addition, it’s also dependent on a lot of different factors, which you can read under ‘ketamine’s effects’. Besides, tolerance for the ‘psychedelic effects’ is built up quickly. So you quickly need a higher dosage to reach the same effect. So keep this in mind! If, after regular use, you haven’t used anything for a while, start with a much lower dosage.
For snorting, the dosage can vary between 15 to 150 mg ketamine. With dosages from 50 mg it’s advisable to lie down. When you snort ketamine, you’ll feel the effects within 5 to 15 minutes. The whole experience takes between 45 and 60 minutes. (Watch out: to reach the same effects, the ketamine dosage you need is a lot lower than, for example, the cocaine dosage).
Ketamine can also be swallowed. This dosage varies between 75 and 500 milligrams. Depending on your stomach contents the effects start to come up between 20 and 60 minutes after intake. The experience lasts between 1 and 3 hours, with after-effects that can last equally as long.
For injecting ketamine in the muscles (intramuscular administration, I.M.), the dosage is usually between 50 and 125 mg, you feel the effects after 3-5 minutes and the experience lasts between 30 and 45 minutes.
Ketamine in powder form can be cut up, so always test your ketamine.↑ Back to menu↑ Back to top
The mood that you’re in, how you’re feeling and the place you’re at whilst using can all influence the effect. Especially if we’re talking about psychedelics like ketamine. Personal factors can also play a big role. One person might get agitated easily by a drug, whilst someone else gets very meek. In the end, everybody, every person and every situation is different.
Check Drugs, set and setting for more information.
Ketamine is a dissociative psychedelic. This means that you experience a separation between your mind and your body.
Below are some of the possible dissociative effects:
You could have the feeling like there is light streaming through your body, whilst your mind is travelling through other dimensions via multiple tunnels. Visual hallucinations (especially with closed eyes) and changing perceptions of time, insights into the cosmos, existing and being are all things that are also mentioned a lot by users.
A very strong ketamine experience is also called a k-hole: the feeling like you’re dying, flying through a tunnel at high speed, intense hallucinatory effects, telepathic contacts or the ultimate timelessness can all be part of such an experience. If the k-hole is an unwanted effect as a consequence of a dose which was too high, it’s usually described by the user as a very negative experience.
Users talk about heavy stomach aches (“k-cramp”) and feeling like they have a bladder infection. There are cases whereby the complications were very serious; blood in the urine, having to go to the toilet a lot, only peeing very little or not peeing at all anymore. The damage to the urinary tract can lead to a higher sensitivity to an infection of the bladder, the urinary tract and the kidneys which could in turn cause complete kidney failure which would then have to be treated with dialysis. If you have these kinds of complaints, immediately stop using ketamine and consult your doctor (and mention that you’ve used ketamine).
Ketamine and sleep
Ketamine seems to be used most at the end of an event. This means that ketamine is often used when there is a lack of sleep. Is there a connection between ketamine and lack of sleep? In this article we try to answer that question.
Ketamine can be addictive. A lot more than other psychedelics, which are hardly addictive. You can become mentally dependent and your tolerance could build up which means you would need a higher dosage to get the same effects.
The more often you answered yes to these questions, the more you’re in the danger zone. If you need more information about addiction or how you can handle it, send an e-mail to email@example.com↑ Back to menu↑ Back to top
Combining different drugs is extra risky and unpredictable. If you combine, the risk to your health is higher. Besides, there hasn’t been much research into the risks of combining different drugs. Here we’ll describe the effects and risks of a couple of common combinations or that are particularly risky. For more information, check the theme Drugs and combination use.
The combination of ketamine with (high dosages of) downers like alcohol and GHB could lead to the suppression of breathing and unconsciousness. You could also choke if your tongue closes the airways or in your vomit.
The amount of time that a drug can be detected in your blood or urine after ingesting depends on a few factors. How often and how much you’ve used and your personal metabolism (how quick the drug is broken down, mainly by your liver) are all of influence. Drugs can be found for a longer time in your urine than in your blood.
Ketamine is broken down by the liver and is excreted via the kidneys and urine. After 2-4 days it’s disappeared from your body entirely.↑ Back to menu↑ Back to top
Taking ketamine with absolutely no risks is impossible. But you can limit the risks, read the Unity tips for that:
Do you want more information, do you have a question or do you want to talk about this or another drug? Look for contact details in your neighbourhood or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more on Ketamine:
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