Ketamine, a drug comparable to PCP, belongs to the dissociative class of hallucinogens, best known for the state of detachment users experience when using this class of drugs. According to the University of Maryland, ketamine alters a person’s sense of space and time while inciting hallucinatory experiences.
The phrase “K-Hole” is slang for the effects brought on by a ketamine high. Unlike most other hallucinogens, ketamine can place users in a highly vulnerable state because of its powerful effects on brain function. Once a person enters the K-Hole, the full effects of the drug have taken hold.
While hallucinogens in general carry a considerable lower risk for addiction than other types of drugs, people who experience the K-Hole on a frequent basis open themselves up to the addictive potential of the drug.
Ketamine works by activating glutamate-secreting cells in the brain. Glutamate, one of several neurotransmitter chemicals, slows down electrical activity throughout the brain, according to Brown University Health Education. By increasing glutamate levels, ketamine slows overall brain chemical activity and, in turn, interferes with normal brain communications.
In general, ketamine effects vary depending on the dosage amount consumed and method of use. Injecting anywhere from 60-125 milligrams or snorting 100 to 250 milligrams produces the K-Hole effect. A person’s body weight and tolerance level for the drug also influence how big of a dose will bring on the K-Hole effect.
The K-Hole most reflects ketamine’s anesthetic properties in terms of the sensations users experience along the way. According to Columbia Health, within 10 to 20 minutes of ingesting the drug, a person experiences:
- Loss of physical sensations
- Inability to move
- Inability to speak
- Out-of-body experiences
- Feelings of invincibility
In some cases, these effects can be horrifying, especially when a person can no longer communicate with others. As with any anesthetic-type drug, ketamine leaves a person completely vulnerable to his or her surround environment. These powerful effects of the drug account for why ketamine has been labeled as one of the many “date rape” drugs on the market.
As with any hallucinogen drug, a person’s state of mind when using ketamine can influence its effects in terms of producing “bad trips” or “good trips.” Likewise, the K-Hole experience may bring on euphoric, transcendent experiences or horrid, life-like nightmares.
Using ketamine on a frequent basis also opens users up to addiction over time, as the mind comes to rely on the drug’s effects to cope with daily life. Frequent, long-term use can also cause long-term psychological impairments, such as amnesia, neurosis and actual lapses in consciousness on a recurring basis. In effect, ketamine alters the brain’s chemical make-up over time, creating prime conditions for psychological problems to take root.
Ketamine’s powerful depressant effects on brain function slow the body’s respiratory and cardiovascular functions. This means, the K-Hole experience can become life threatening to the point where a person’s breathing or heart functions stop altogether.