Ketamine is sometimes used medically as an anesthetic in surgery, as a painkiller, and in the treatment of severe depression. But it is also abused as a club drug and “date rape drug,” and is known for its ability to produce extreme disorientation. It initially entered the club scene as a secondary ingredient contained in certain batches of illegal MDMA (Ecstasy, Molly). Eventually, drug abusers started using it apart from MDMA.
Basic Facts About Ketamine
Ketamine was originally created for the legitimate medical purpose of providing anesthesia for both animals and human beings. It initially entered use as a club drug as a secondary ingredient contained in certain batches of illegal MDMA (Ecstasy, Molly). Eventually, drug abusers started using the anesthetic outside of the context of MDMA use. Speak Confidentially with a Journey Advisor at 844-878-1979.
Ketamine produces its primary intended effects by creating dissociation, a condition marked by weakening of the cues and perceptions that keep people anchored in their surroundings and fully aware of their own actions. It also produces hallucinations that alter normal perception of visual and auditory (sound-related) information. Individuals who take large amounts of the drug can experience additional effects that include profound dissociation, lightheadedness, muscle tremors, confusion, incapacitation and a potentially life-threatening decline in the automatic urge to breathe.
Ketamine comes in the form of a liquid designed for injection, as well as powders and tablets produced by drying out the liquid form of the drug. Methods of introducing these drug forms into the body include injection, nasal inhalation, oral consumption and smoking. Depending on the method used, ketamine can produce its effects in anywhere from one minute to half an hour. While the drug’s hallucinatory impact wears off in roughly one hour, several of its other effects can remain active for up to a day.
In addition to MDMA, substances sometimes used in combination with ketamine include cocaine, amphetamine and methamphetamine. Common street names for the drug include Special K, Super K, Vitamin K, Jet, Cat Valium, Purple and Kit Kat.
Regular abusers can develop several symptoms of ketamine addiction. These symptoms include increasing tolerance to the effects of ketamine and the onset of a withdrawal syndrome when intake of the drug falls below the person’s norm. In addition, some regular ketamine abusers may participate in high-dose, uncontrolled periods of drug consumption known as binges. Speak Confidentially with a Journey Advisor at 844-878-1979.
Ketamine overdoses occur when users take enough of the drug to overwhelm one or more of their normal body functions. Specific symptoms that may precede an overdose include abnormally rigid or weak muscles, loss of the normal ability to maintain balance, temporary loss of the ability to form memories (i.e., amnesia), and general incapacitation. Overdose itself can include both a loss of consciousness and severe suppression of the normal urge to breathe, possibly resulting in death.
Ketamine as a Date Rape Drug
Like two other club drugs—Rohypnol (flunitrazepam) and GHB (Xyrem, sodium oxybate)—ketamine can produce a combination of incapacitation and amnesia that leaves an individual unconscious, unable to defend him or herself, and/or unable to recall what happened while under the drug’s influence. Some sexual predators rely on these effects to perpetrate various forms of sexual assault (known collectively and somewhat inaccurately as “date rape”). In the U.S., federal law mandates special penalties for people who use drugs to facilitate a sexual or physical assault.