Primarily a depressant and hallucinogen however can have stimulant effects.
Ketamine is a dissociative anaesthetic, meaning users will feel detached from themselves and their immediate surroundings.
It’s a powerful general anaesthetic which stops you feeling pain and it’s used for operations on humans and animals.
Street’ ketamine is normally a grainy, white powder – although sometimes it can come as tablets.
Like drinking and driving, driving when high is illegal – and you can still be unfit to drive the day after using ketamine. You can get a heavy fine, be disqualified from driving or even go to prison.
Ketamine can stop you being able to move muscles, making it very difficult for you to move. Some people call this the “K-Hole” and say it’s like a near-death experience.
It can also make you see or hear things which aren’t there, which can be frightening.
Can cause confusion, agitation, panic attacks, and difficulty with short and long term memory.
Using too much can make you pass out and this can lead to heart failure.
Using ketamine can damage your memory and in some cases people have developed schizophrenia after using it for a long time.
Ketamine can badly damage your bladder and kidneys, causing you to need the toilet more. It can also cause pain when you go to the toilet and blood in your urine. In extreme cases, people have had their bladders removed because of the pain.
Ketamine can change your perception of time and space and can cause hallucinations. It can lead to good or bad ‘trips’ that can last from half an hour to several hours, in some cases the after effects can be there for hours.
When ketamine is used you don’t feel pain properly, you can injure yourself badly and not know you’ve done it.
Don’t mix ketamine with any other drug and especially not with alcohol or with other depressant drugs such as heroin.
Don’t go swimming or take a bath when you’re using ketamine, or you could drown.
Don’t take ketamine if you’ve had mental health problems yourself or in your family.
High doses can damage your bladder, so have plenty of water whilst you’re using and afterwards too.
If someone is in the “K-hole,” try to keep their airway open so they can keep breathing.
Frequent use of ketamine may also lead to depression.
Ketamine has a huge effect on coordination so do not drive or operate machinery whilst under the influence or experiencing effects.
Be very mindful of where you choose to use ketamine (known as setting), it is important not to use alone and also choose places where environmental risks are less. For example using near a road will increase risk of road traffic accidents.
Use small amounts and space the time in between using.