Ketamine is a drug that falls under the classification of NMDA receptor antagonist. This recreational drug is used in veterinary and human medicine with its high anesthetic dosage called “dissociative anesthesia."
Alternative and street names
Ketamine is usually referred to as cat, Vitamin K, Valiums K or Special K.
How is Ketamine taken?
Ketamine can be taken by inhalation, oral ingestion, insulfation or intramuscular injection. Smoking is also a means of intake and this is referred by users who want a faster onset of the high.
Effects of consumption
Ketamine is a common drug at raves because of its dreamy intoxication effect. The four chief effects of the drug are vivid imagery, extreme delirium, hallucinations and stupor called “k-hole” which is similar to the daze of a person in extreme drunkenness. Lessened sensation and impaired motor function are noted as well. Users also complain of nausea and vomiting, numbness, high blood pressure and increased heart rate. Blurred vision and poor hearing are also effects of ketamine use.
The ketamine “trips” usually sought-for by users is described as an alteration of planes of existence and disclosure of the past and the future. It gives the user a feeling of being “one with the universe”. Ketamine is an anesthetic that relieves pain and numbs the senses. Psychological effects may be experienced within an hour but the motor skills effects may be experienced within 24 hours.
Impact on the mind/body and health risks
Chronic use of ketamine may lead to several physical and mental harms. These problems may include visual distortions, inability to tell time, decreased sensation, euphoria, confusion and inability to smell and taste. The main feature of ketamine use is the feeling of “being in the K-hole” which is described as a stupor of a drunk man.
The side effects of ketamine use are as follows:
- Increased heart rate
- Slurred speech
- Feeling of paralysis or numbness
- Inability to move
- High blood pressure
- Memory problems like poor concentration, inability to recall and learn.
Signs of abuse of ketamine
Egocentrism and paranoia are commonly observed in ketamine users. In addition they usually feel that they are very important part of the world and this grandiosity is also a contributory factor to the paranoid feelings of users. The anesthetic effect of ketamine can knock a person unconscious and may even lead to death due to cardiovascular failure in case of overdose.
Common treatment options
Ketamine detox is advisable to lessen the withdrawal symptoms of the drug and eradicate the toxins that may cause relapse. The degree of addiction determines the need for further drug treatment in a medically supervised rehab facility. Since ketamine was proven to damage the brain it is necessary for a drug addict to undergo the highly structured ketamine detox.
Ketamine withdrawal symptoms
Most of the withdrawal symptoms are not physical in nature. If there are some it is due to the breakdown of ketamine in the blood stream that produces muscle tension and twitching as well as restlessness to long-time users who abstained from the drugs.
The following are the common withdrawal symptoms of ketamine:
- Blurred vision
- Slurring of speech
- Impaired motor skills
- Cessation of breathing
- Death if no prompt medical treatment is available