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What is Ketamine?

Aka: Special K, K, Ket, Super K, Vitamin K


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in health


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Ketamine is a strong tranquilliser and anaesthetic used on animals and humans. Ketamine has become more common in Ireland as a drug in party settings. It can be swallowed as a tablet or snorted as a powder. Sometimes it comes as a liquid. Depending on how you take it, the effects generally start within a few minutes and last 1-3 hours. There have been reports of Ketamine being used in Ecstasy pills (sometimes called a Calvin Klein).

Also known as: Special K, K, ket, super K, vitamin K,

Effects of Ketamine

  • It numbs the body and creates the effect of removing you from your sense of reality
  • It is a general anaesthetic which can create a "floaty" feeling, as if the mind and body have been separated
  • Ketamine can slow down movements or make you feel as though you can't move at all 
  • It can create the feeling of being detached from your body and surroundings, this is sometimes called a "k-hole"

Dangers of Ketamine

  • Because it numbs the body, you run the risk of serious injury without even realising you've been hurt
  • High doses of Ketamine can cause serious breathing problems, unconsciousness or heart failure
  • If injecting it, ketamine may damage your veins and lead to abscesses and thrombosis
  • If injecting, sharing needles can pass on diseases such as HIV and hepatitis
  • There is also a risk of choking on vomit whilst unconscious
  • Ketamine can cause confusion, agitation, panic attacks, and damage to short term and long term memory
  • Ketamine can also cause hallucinations, aggressiveness, blackouts and temporary blindness

There is a high risk of becoming psychologically addicted to ketamine, and you could begin to find it hard to cope without it. For more on the dangers on taking ketamine click here

Depression, anxiety and taking ketamine

Long-term effects from ketamine include depression, memory problems and psychotic episodes. If ketamine is mixed with other drugs or alcohol this can increase feelings of anxiety or depression in the days following.

If you have taken ketamie and are feeling depressed or anxious it is important to talk to someone about how you are feeling. If you do not feel that you can be honest to friends or family members about taking drugs remember that there are other supports out there that can help. 

Remember: All drugs, including the misuse of prescribed medication, can pose serious health risks, up to and including possible death.

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Published Feb­ru­ary 19th2013
Last updated June 13th2018
Tags drugs addiction
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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