Ketamine is an anaesthetic, often used for it’s pain killing properties in medical emergencies and operations on animals and humans. Ketamine can be smoked, snorted or injected and it’s use has been rising on the party scene for the last decade.
The common effects of Ketamine include feeling very relaxed, as if one is floating or detached – reflecting a disconnection for the mind from the body.
Ketamine’s action can be hugely powerful and it has the potential to cause paralysis. The risk of overdose is high and if users are not vigilant, they may experience what is commonly known as a ‘K Hole’. This state can leave a person unable to move until the drug wears off and can take anything from 30 minutes to several hours. Experientially, this state can be compared to having a near-death experience.
Ketamine also has hallucinogenic properties, so distortions in reality can be experienced. Hallucinations such as seeing or hearing things that are not objectively present have been reported by some users. Other negative side effects include confusion, nausea and damage to short and long term memory.
The physiological effects include increase in the user’s heart rate and blood pressure. Mixing ketamine with other drugs can be fatal – alcohol, benzodiazepines, opiates and stimulants such as ecstasy and amphetamines are particularly dangerous as the combination can effect blood pressure, respiration and heart function.
Loss of body sensations puts users at greater risk of injury. In regular users there is a very serious risk of damage to the urinary tract, which can result in needing surgery to remove the bladder. New evidence of liver damage is also now emerging.
Long term abuse of ketamine can result in both physical and psychological damage, so habitual use is particularly concerning. As with many types of drugs, addiction can arise as users seek to continually block out their pain, issues and personal reality.
For more information on the treatments services offered by Charterhouse Clinic for drug addiction, please visit our drug addiction treatment page.