WHAT IS KETAMINE?
Ketamine is manufactured commercially as a powder or liquid. Powdered ketamine is also formed from pharmaceutical ketamine by evaporating the liquid using hot plates, warming trays, or microwave ovens, a process that Vials containing liquid ketamine
results in the formation of crystals, which are then ground into powder.
What are common street names?
Common street names include:
• Cat Tranquilizer, Cat Valium, Jet K, Kit Kat, Purple, Special K, Special La Coke, Super Acid, Super K, and Vitamin K
What does it look like?
Ketamine comes in a clear liquid and a white or off-white powder. Powdered ketamine (100 milligrams to 200 milligrams) typically is packaged in small glass vials, small plastic bags, and capsules as well as paper, glassine, or aluminum
Powdered ketamine is cut into lines known as bumps and snorted, or it is smoked, typically in marijuana or tobacco cigarettes. Liquid ketamine is injected or mixed into drinks. Ketamine is found by itself or often in combination with MDMA, amphetamine, methamphetamine, or cocaine.
What is its effect on the mind?
Ketamine produces hallucinations. It distorts perceptions of sight and sound and makes the user feel disconnected and not in control. A “Special K” trip is touted as better than that of LSD or PCP because
its hallucinatory effects are relatively short in duration, lasting approximately 30 to 60 minutes as opposed to several hours. Slang for experiences related to Ketamine or effects of ketamine include:
• “K-land” (refers to a mellow & colorful experience)
• “K-hole” (refers to the out-of-body, near death
• “Baby food” (users sink in to blissful, infantile inertia)
• “God” (users are convinced that they have met their
The onset of effects is rapid and often occurs within a few minutes of taking the drug, though taking it orally results in a slightly slower onset of effects.
Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) has been reported several weeks after ketamine is used and may include experiencing the negative side
effects that occurred while taking the drug initially. Ketamine may also cause agitation, depression, cognitive difficulties, unconsciousness, and amnesia.
What is its effect on the body?
A couple of minutes after taking the drug, the user may experience an increase in heart rate and blood pressure that gradually decreases over the next 10 to 20 minutes. Ketamine can make users unresponsive
to stimuli. When in this state, users experience:
• Involuntarily rapid eye movement, dilated pupils, salivation, tear secretions, and stiffening of the muscles
This drug can also cause nausea.
What are its overdose effects?
An overdose can cause unconsciousness and
dangerously slowed breathing.
Which drugs cause similar effects?
Other hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD, PCP, and mescaline can cause hallucinations. There are also several drugs such as GHB,
What is its legal status in the United States?
Since the 1970s, ketamine has been marketed in the United States as an injectable, short-acting anesthetic for use in humans and animals. In 1999,
ketamine, including its salts, isomers and salts of isomers, became a Schedule III non-narcotic substance under the Controlled Substances Act. It currently has accepted medical uses for shortterm sedation and anesthesia. In addition, in 2019,
FDA approved the S(+) enantiomer of ketamine (esketamine) nasal spray version (Spravato®) for treatment-resistant depression that is only available at a certified doctor’s office or clinic.