Mixing drugs in general is a very dangerous practice. Most people who mix drugs do so to improve the high but wind up placing themselves in very dangerous situations. Doctors often combine drugs to change their effects while addicts often combine them to change the effects.. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, ketamine is a very powerful sedative and dissociative drug. People frequently mix other drugs with it to change its properties.
Three Reactions from Combining Drugs
Ketamine users are looking for one of three reactions when they mix ketamine with other drugs. According to the Tulane University School of Medicine, these three are:
- Additive effects – this is almost exactly what it sounds like. Additive effects are the effect of one drug plus the effect of the other. So mixing ketamine with a stimulant gives you both the dissociative sedation of ketamine and the energy of the stimulant.
- Synergistic effects – this is when two drugs are combined and make each other more powerful. In synergism, ketamine mixed with alcohol increases the sedating and depressant effect of both the ketamine and the alcohol.
- Antagonistic effects – the antagonist effect is two drugs cancelling each other out. There is no known antagonistic drug to ketamine but an example of an antagonistic effect can be seen when opiates are canceled out by Naloxone.
Many users will experiment with different drugs in order to achieve each of these effects.
Common Drugs Mixed with Ketamine
There are several drugs that users commonly mix with ketamine. Each of these drugs produces a different reaction than it would without the ketamine. These are generalized because each person reacts differently to each drug.
- Alcohol – this is a common mix because ketamine is often taken in clubs that also contain bars. The ketamine and alcohol have a synergistic effect. This means that the depressive effects of ketamine and alcohol amplify each other. The nausea and vomiting that you sometimes experience with alcohol or ketamine are worse when you combine the two. Ketamine and alcohol mixed also produces respiratory depression and possible overdose.
- Amphetamines – another common mix is ketamine and amphetamines. Because ketamine is a sedative, some people take amphetamines to counteract the sleepiness and sedation. Ketamine and amphetamines produce an addictive effect when taken together. This causes the same dissociative experience, but with more energy and ability to engage in activities such as dancing that you otherwise would not be able to on ketamine.
- Ecstasy – the combination of ketamine and ecstasy is another additive effect. Users will take ketamine as they are coming down from the ecstasy high. This makes the effects of ecstasy come back briefly and adds some of the effects of the ketamine.
- Benzodiazepines – this combination produces a synergistic effect and is extremely dangerous. Since both are powerful depressants it can very easily cause an overdose reaction and kill the user.
Many people engage in the dangerous practice of mixing ketamine and other drugs. Much of the reaction is depends on the amount of each drug taken and what type of user the person is. Casual users are less likely to have an extremely adverse reaction than those that use regularly.