Ketamine, “an injectable anesthetic used primarily by veterinarians, found either in liquid form or as a white powder that can be snorted or smoked,” does many things to the body, mind, and mental state of the individual who abuses it (FBI). While many people abuse ketamine for its effects, others are unknowingly or forcibly given the drug by those who plan to sexually assault them. Ketamine can cause an out-of-body experience, an addiction syndrome, many dangerous side effects, and even death.
What is Ketamine Used for Legally?
As stated by CESAR, “Today, there are still valid medicinal uses of ketamine for anesthetic reasons, though use is uncommon and tightly restricted.” Mostly, ketamine is used legally as a veterinary anesthetic which earns it one of its popular street names: Cat Valium. Ketamine does help individuals in need of an anesthetic, but most of the use of ketamine is illicit and dangerous.
What Does Ketamine Do to a Person?
Ketamine can cause these effects on an individual who abuses it.
- In small doses
- “A dose of 1.0 to 2.0 mg per kilogram of body weight produces an intense experience lasting about one hour.”
- A sense of floating
- Impaired motor skills
- Feelings of invulnerability
- Violent behavior
- Tachycardia (increased heart rate)
- Muscle rigidity
- “Distorted perceptions of sight and sound” (OWH)
- “Lost sense of time and identity”
- In high doses
- A K-hole
- A kind of out-of-body experience that makes a person feel very high, almost like a near-death experience. Many individuals abuse ketamine to cause this result.
- Extreme respiratory depression to the point of stopped breathing and death
- Muscle spasms
- Slurred speech
- Nausea and vomiting
- Numbness of the body
- A high chance of begin sexually assaulted
- A K-hole
What Does Ketamine Do to Someone Who Abuses it Over time?
Over time, ketamine abuse can cause depression, flashbacks, high blood pressure, and other issues. The use of the drug over long periods of time can cause extreme memory loss as well to the point where the individual loses large portions of time in which they are abusing ketamine.
Also a person can become addicted to ketamine after abusing it for a while. According to the NIDA, “There have been reports of people binging on ketamine, a behavior that is similar to that seen in some cocaine- or amphetamine-dependent individuals.” But these are not the only signs of ketamine addiction.
“Ketamine users can develop signs of tolerance and cravings for the drug” which often occur simultaneously with addiction. When a person shows signs of dangerous, drug-seeking behavior or an inability to stop abusing ketamine even though it is causing extreme problems in their life, they are already addicted to the drug.
Ketamine causes many effects that can lead to danger and harm for the individual. While many people abuse ketamine for the high it causes, ketamine does create many problems for the individual. Any time someone abuses ketamine, they could experience extremely harmful effects, as the drug causes detachment, amnesia, and hallucinations, which are all dangerous to the user.