The types of addictive drugs that are available and how they are used are constantly changing. It can be difficult to keep up with any changes that happen in relation to drugs like ketamine, but staying up to date with this information may just be your best option.
Defined by the NIDA, ketamine is dissociative drug commonly used in veterinary practices as an anesthetic. It has a hallucinogenic effect in humans, which affects its popularity. When a person takes ketamine, they often feel separated from reality.
The drug alters the part of the brain, the glutamate receptor, which interprets information and can temporarily cause that part to shut down. According to the Institute of Human Development and Social Change at New York University, users have a heightened mental state and sense of imagination. They are largely unaware of any physical sensation and sometimes movement is difficult.
Ketamine’s usage depends on the form it is in, of which there are three. The most common is a white powder, similar in appearance to cocaine. This form is popular because of how easy it is for users to control the dosage.
The powdered form is generated through another form, liquid ketamine, which is the normal state that the drug is in when used for medical purposes. The third is as a tablet form, often cut with other drugs and sold as a variant of ecstasy.
There are four ways that ketamine is usually taken, although it can be mixed with other drugs or substances. Oral use, either by swallowing or adding ketamine to beverages, creates the longest high with stronger effects but requires a larger dose. Snorting, also sometimes called “taking bumps”, has a quicker effect with smaller doses but a shorter high.
Users can also inject ketamine, usually intramuscularly. Typically, the effects kick in within a few minutes and can last up to an hour when injected. Injecting quickly can be incredibly dangerous, and when done intravenously, can be fatal. Intravenous injection, New York University says, has an almost immediate effect but will trigger a sudden drop in respiratory function.
Regardless of how it is used or what form it takes, ketamine can cause some serious problems. The short-term dangers usually affects brain functions like memory, attention span, learning problems, and continued hallucinations. There might be physical issues like difficulty moving, decreased breathing, an increase in blood pressure, and unconsciousness.
Long term effects can develop from the short term, usually as a result of prolonged usage or high dosages. Common issues are kidney problems, bladder and stomach pain, ulcers, continued memory issues, and depression. As ketamine is popular as a date rape drug and is often combined with other drugs and substances, further dangers can arise.