What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a powerful dissociative anaesthetic. Ketamine has become an increasingly popular street drug and is known as K, Ket, Special K, Vitamin K, Green K, Super C, and Kit Kat.

What is Ketamine Used for?

Often referred to as a “horse tranquiliser”, Ketamine was originally intended for use as a veterinary anaesthetic, and is currently used in human and veterinary procedures. As an anaesthetic Ketamine has analgesic (pain relieving), hypnotic (sleep producing) and amnesic (short term memory loss) effects.

Ketamine is abused primarily by young people on the club drug scene in combination with ecstacy, GHB or cocaine. It is often used at after-party chill-out events. It may also be used by those who are attempting to self-medicate for chronic pain or depression.

Ketamine presents as a liquid or a white powder and can be injected, snorted, smoked or swallowed.

What Does Ketamine Do?

Ketamine is abused for its psychoactive effects. An immediate side-effect of Ketamine abuse is dissociation—a psychadelic, dreamlike sense of being detached from one’s body, sometimes accompanied by hallucinations and mild euphoria.

Some ketamine users report upsetting and frightening experiences similar to a “bad trip” that one might experience on LSD, known as a ‘K-hole’. In this state users will feel completely dissociated from their bodies, they may be incapacitated, unresponsive, uncoordinated, with erratic movements and nausea. Because of these effects, Ketamine has been abused as a date rape drug.

Physical Signs of Ketamine Abuse

Someone who is abusing Ketamine may show signs of unusual calmness and immobility, and an inability to respond to stimuli due to its anaesthetic properties. Their breathing may be slowed, speech slurred, vision blurred and pupils dilated, with involuntary muscle movements. Ketamine’s hallucinogenic effects are typically relatively short-lived (about an hour); however, cognitive effects, including confusion and memory loss, appear to last longer and may persist for 24 hours or more.

After the immediate effects of Ketamine have worn off users might feel depressed, experience loss of memory, lack of cognition or understanding and be extremely anxious.

Long Term Risks of Ketamine Abuse

Ketamine users will develop tolerance and need ever increasing amounds to achieve a high. Ketamine is addictive.

Long-term abuse of Ketamine may result in:

  • Severe mood disturbances such as depression,
  • Impaired motor and psychological function
  • Confusion and difficulty thinking clearly and concentrating,
  • Amnesia/impaired memory,
  • Hallucinations, and delirium,
  • Brain damage,
  • Kidney damage,
  • Severe bladder damage,
  • Unconsciousness,
  • Users may also experience flashbacks up to several weeks after using Ketamine.
  • If high doses are taken or if it is used with other substances such as benzodiazepines or opiates, it can result in death.

Ketamine Bladder Syndrome

Long-term Ketamine use can have serious health implications. The most widely reported health problem arising from ketamine abuse is damage to the bladder and urinary tract. The prevalence of this problem has caused it to be named ‘Ketamine bladder syndrome’ or ‘K bladder’. The consquences of ‘K bladder’ can be surgery or even complete removal of the damaged bladder.

Rehab Treatment for Ketamine addiction at Castle Craig

Ketamine addiction is devastating for individuals and the people who care about them. Castle Craig provides comprehensive, professional, and individualised drug rehab treatment programmes designed around each client’s unique needs in their recovery journey.