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Article Summary


What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine, also known as Special K, K, Ket and Vitamin K on the streets is a powerful, fast-acting painkiller and anesthetic. This drug is primarily used in veterinary surgeries and to a lesser extent in humans. In humans, when ketamine is taken for medical purposes it is administered in conjunction with another drug to prevent hallucinations (a common side effect of the medication). When the drug is manufactured for medical uses it is sold in liquid form. When sold on the street it is typically converted into a white powder that can be snorted, mixed into drinks or smoked with pot or tobacco. Users will also inject ketamine but only into their muscle because an injection into the vein usually results in a loss of consciousness.

The effects of ketamine include vivid dreams or hallucinations. Users experience a feeling as though their mind is separated from their body. This effect is called "dissociation," and is also a known effect of the drug PCP. The draw for taking ketamine is its ability to allow the user to feel as though they have entered another reality. A recent increase in the popularity of the drug among young people may be related to its availability as a club drug. When it is sold recreationally at clubs it is often mixed with other drugs, this makes taking it even more dangerous. Combining ketamine with alcohol or any other sedative can be fatal for the user. Because this substance dissolves in liquid it can be easily slipped into someone’s drink. The drug’s sedative effects have been used to prevent victims from resisting sexual assault. Because of this reason it is also considered a date rape drug in addition to a club drug.

Treatment For Ketamine Abuse

While addiction to ketamine is not common, users can develop a tolerance to the drug’s effects. This means that more and more of the drug is needed for them to achieve the desired high. When the drug is discontinued there appears to be little to no withdrawal symptoms experienced. Treatment is not usually necessary for ketamine abuse but if users find that they cannot stop taking the drug on their own attending a rehab program is a wise decision. Getting help for a problem before it spirals out of control can prevent a mole hill from turning into a mountain. Drug rehab programs help people come off the addictive substances they are dependent on and teach them valuable life skills and drug refusal tools to help them remain sober when they return to their day to day life.

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