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What are the signs and symptoms of Ketamine abuse?

Ketamine hydrochloride, aka (±)-2-(o-Chlorophenyl)-2-(methylamino) cyclohexanone hydrochloride, aka Ketalar, aka Special K, aka K, is classified as a dissociative anesthetic type psychedelic. Ketamine is used in veterinary medicine, and for a variety of medical surgical procedures. It is diverted from legitimate sources and abused for its hallucinogenic and dissociative properties.

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is generally a clear liquid, which can take on a yellow tint, or darken further if exposed to light for a prolonged period. It is available in 5 or 10 ml bottles, containing 50 to 100 mg of the active drug ketamine. Diverted ketamine may be re-bottled into any type of container. 

Regulation of Ketamine

Ketamine is available by prescription only. It is diverted from legitimate sources for illicit use. 

How Ketamine is used?

Typically ketamine is taken as an injection in a muscle or vein, in 65 to 100mg doses. It can also be used by snorting up to 250mg. 

What are the effects of Ketamine on the user?

Someone who has used Ketamine will display some or all of the following: 

  • Changes in the perception of reality. The user may feel like they have entered their own personal and private dimension, isolated from the rest of the world or Universe, known as a K-Hole. 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • LOC (Loss of Consciousness)
  • Visual or auditory hallucinations
  • A warm, tingling sensation
  • Analgesia (pain relief or inability to feel pain)
  • Distorted perception of time
  • Loss of fine motor skills (unable to use their hands)
  • Impairment of gross skills (staggering or difficulty walking)
  • Impaired productive and receptive speech (disconnected or strange statements)
  • Visual distortion of what they see around them. 
  • Impaired sense of taste and smell
  • Disassociation or a trance-like state, or staring vacantly. 

How long Ketamine takes to work, and how long it lasts?

The effects of ketamine appear about four or five minutes after IM (Intramuscular) or IV (intravenous) administration, 15-20 after P.O. (oral) administration and with intranasal use (snorting) about five to ten minutes. The duration of action of ketamine is up to three hours. After effects consisting of varying degrees of cognitive impairment can persist up to 24 hours. 

Short term and long term risks of using Ketamine

An overdose of ketamine can result in sedation, psychosis (inability to perceive reality) coma, and respiratory failure, which will result in death. While under the influence of ketamine, accidents can happen. The person will be disconnected from their environment, disoriented, and may be responding to sensory perceptions that are not there.