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Ketamine Overdose Effects

The effects of a ketamine overdose can be extremely dangerous and problematic, causing unconsciousness, amnesia, and even death. According to CESAR, “The effects of ketamine are considered dose dependent,” so while the effects of smaller doses of ketamine can be problematic and dangerous on their own, the effects of a ketamine overdose are even more so to the point where an individual is in extreme danger.

Common Ketamine Overdose Effects

According to CESAR, the common ketamine overdose effects are:

Ketamine Overdose Effects

Dizziness and amnesia are signs of a ketamine overdose.

  • Severe respiratory depression
    • Like opioid and benzodiazepine overdose, ketamine overdose can cause a dangerous level of respiratory depression, to the point where the individual may stop breathing altogether. This can be deadly and is more likely to become deadly if the individual is also abusing alcohol along with ketamine.
  • Muscle twitches
    • This will be visible to other individuals. Someone who is on ketamine who seems to be experiencing this type of issue should be taken to the hospital immediately.
  • Dizziness 
    • A person may also suffer from a “helpless and/or confused state” and “have difficulty with balance” along with the dizziness.
  • Muscle weakness
    • The person will likely be unable to move at the point of a full ketamine overdose.
  • Impaired vision
    • Along with dizziness, the individual will have trouble seeing which will make it difficult for them to get out of a dangerous situation.
  • Slurred speech
    • Another noticeable effect of ketamine overdose, someone who begins slurring their speech is likely experiencing a dose of the drug that is too high and negatively affecting the body.
  • Nausea and vomiting
    • As a dissociative anesthetic like PCP, ketamine will cause stomach upset which will also be perpetuated by the dizziness and loss of equilibrium the person will be experiencing.
  • Amnesia
    • Many people who overdose on ketamine do not remember what happened to them while they were on the drug. It is one of the reasons why people who abuse the drug (and especially those who give it to other, unknowing individuals) do so.

How to Help a Friend Who Has Overdosed on Ketamine

Other Effects of Ketamine Overdose

Ketamine is often used as what is called a date rape drug by individuals who want to sexually assault others. The drug-induced state caused by ketamine overdose that includes dizziness, memory problems, and numbness makes it easier for an individual to perpetuate this crime on someone who is affected by high levels of ketamine.

According to the OWH, “Ketamine is legal in the United States for use as an anesthetic for humans and animals.” It is often stolen from veterinary offices in order to be used for this illegal purpose. Make sure that you are aware of the possibility of someone slipping ketamine into your drink at a party or another type of social gathering and always make sure that you have a friend nearby who will notice if something goes wrong.

There are many dangerous effects that are caused by ketamine overdose, some that a user may be prepared for and some that occur when someone is given the drug unknowingly. According to the NIDA, “Patients with a ketamine overdose are managed through supportive care for acute symptoms, with special attention to cardiac and respiratory functions.” It is important to protect yourself as much as possible against the dangerous effects of ketamine overdose.

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