According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic drug that distorts a person’s perceptions of sight and sound. When taken, ketamine will produce a feeling of detachment from the environment and from one’s self. In a user’s body ketamine acts on NMDA receptors to produce its effects. In low doses ketamine results in impaired learning, attention, and memory. In high doses, ketamine can cause hallucinations and cause a person to go into a dreamlike state of mind.
Ketamine was developed to replace PCP in the medical field, and although it did have some improvements from PCP, the drug still caused many of the same adverse effects. Nowadays ketamine is rarely used by doctors, but it is still commonly used for animal sedation in veterinarian clinics.
Although ketamine is not commonly produced or used in the medical field, people still abuse the drug to get high on it. Ketamine is most commonly abused at parties or in clubs which is why it is considered a club drug. Ketamine abuse has been occurring since the drug was first developed, but since the drug is rarely used anymore, people mainly get the drug by robbing veterinarian clinics or stealing hospital supplies of the drug.
5 Turning Points during the History of Ketamine
According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, ketamine was developed in the 1960s to be a fast acting anesthetic drug to help people with surgery. In 1970s the federal government approved ketamine for human use and it became popular to use as a battlefield anesthetic.
From the 1970s to now ketamine has had five turning points to get to where it is today…
1. In 1970 ketamine made the step from animal usage to human usage. Meaning that it was approved to be used on humans as well as animals for its anesthetic properties.
2. In the early to mid-1970s, ketamine was the most popular anesthetic drug used on the battle field to help wounded soldiers in the Vietnam War.
3. In the late 1970’s and into the 1980’s ketamine begins to become a popular drug to abuse for its hallucinogenic effects, but less used in the medical field.
4. In the 1990’s ketamine becomes a popular drug to take in clubs and while listening to music.
5. Due to the continued abuse of ketamine, in 1999 ketamine becomes a controlled substance in America.