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Article Summary


Ketamine is a short-acting but powerful general anesthetic which depresses the nervous system and causes a temporary loss of body sensation. That’s why it has been used for operating on humans and animals. It has powerful hallucinogenic qualities (with a distortion of objects and reality).


: Street names for drugs can vary around the country. Green, K, special K, super K, vitamin k

The effects

  • Ketamine can cause perceptual changes or hallucinations like LSD, in addition to its effects on reducing bodily sensation. Users can trip for up to a hour and may feel after-effects for some hours.
  • It can give the user a floating feeling as if the mind and body have been separated.

Chances of getting hooked

You can become psychologically but not physically dependent on ketamine (which means you can develop the desire to keep taking it in spite of potential harm but without any withdrawal effects on stopping use).

You may need to take increasing amounts of ketamine to achieve the same effect (tolerance).

Appearance and use

Legally produced ketamine comes in liquid form which is usually injected. The illegally produced version usually comes as a grainy white powder which is usually snorted but it may also be obtained as a tablet.


Legally produced ketamine will be pure. But illegally produced tablets are commonly found with ephedrine added (which is commonly used for treatment of allergies and asthma). Sometimes these are passed off as ecstasy.

The risks

  • Users may be physically incapable of moving while under the influence.
  • Ketamine can cause panic attacks, depression, and taken in large doses, can make existing mental health problems worse.
  • Because you don't feel any pain when you're on ketamine, you can injure yourself badly and not know you've done it.
  • High doses, especially with other depressant drugs like alcohol, can dangerously suppress breathing and heart function and can lead to unconsciousness.
  • Ketamine is very dangerous when mixed with ecstasy or amphetamines. It can result in high blood pressure.
  • If high enough doses are taken, the anesthetic effect can result in death, for example due to unconsciousness and inhalation of vomit.

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