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Dangers of Ketamine Abuse That You Should Know

Ketamine was approved for use in the United States in 1970. Ketamine is a general anesthetic that has some hallucinogenic effects. It is widely used in short term diagnostic and surgical procedures. It has the ability to distort perceptions of sight and sound and causes the user to feel a disconnection and lack of control. It is used in both in humans and animals. According to the National Library of Medicine, Ketamine is often referred to as a “dissociative anesthetic” due to the characteristic trait of making patients feel detached from their pain and environment. Dissociative anesthesia can be associated with vivid hallucinations, agitation and delirium during emergence.These adverse effects of ketamine are less in children, but have limited its usefulness as a routine anesthetic agent in adults.

Use of Ketamine is often restricted because of its psychological side effects including:

Ketamine Abuse

Agitation and confusion are common ketamine side effects.

  • vivid hallucinations
  • agitation
  • confusion

Long term use of ketamine has been recorded as causing inflammation and irritation to the urinary bladder and urethra, as well as in the biliary tract, which eventually results in an acute/ chronic liver injury that bears a close resemblance to sclerosing cholangitis, which is a disease of the bile ducts.

Other effects of Ketamine:

  • induced state of sedation
  • immobility
  • relief from pain
  • amnesia
  • nausea

It also has a high risk for abuse potential especially when used as a recreational drug. Ketamine is abused for its ability to produce dissociative sensations and hallucinations. Ketamine has also been used to smooth the progress of sexual assault.

Ketamine is also known as:

  • Cat Tranquilizer
  • Cat Valium
  • Jet K
  • Kit Kat
  • Purple
  • Special K
  • Special La Coke
  • Super Acid
  • Super K
  • Vitamin K

Who Abuses Ketamine?

Ketamine use that is recreational is often compared to LSD or PCP trips, but users claim it is better than that of LSD or PCP because its hallucinatory effects are shorter in duration. These episodes are typically 30 to 60 minutes as opposed to several hours with LSD and PCP. According to the DEA, ketamine comes in a clear liquid or a white/off-white powder, which can be presented in capsules, vials, baggies, or folded in paper or foil.

Only minutes after ingesting the drug, an increase in heart rate and blood pressure is felt by the user. This decreases over the next quarter hour gradually. Ketamine is also known to make users unresponsive and a patient must be closely observed in this state to ensure proper breathing and internal function is maintained.

In this state users experience:

  • Involuntarily rapid eye movement
  • dilated pupils
  • excess salivation
  • tear streaming
  • clenching of the muscles
  • slowed breathing

To learn more about the dangers of ketamine abuse, or for help finding addiction treatment, call 800-915-1270 (Who Answers?).

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