Ketamine, which is sold under the brand name Ketalar, is a Schedule III controlled substance. Ketamine also referred to as Special K, Kit Kat, cat valium, Dorothy or Vitamin K, is an anesthetic for animals that is abused as a recreational drug. It is particularly popular in the club scene among young adults.
Ketamine is produced as a liquid, which can be injected; as a white or off-white powder, which is snorted; or as a pill. It has been used as a date rape drug because it is odorless and colorless and is not detected by the victim in a beverage, often rendering its victim completely helpless.
Ketamine has a short-lived high and tolerance to the drug builds up quickly, requiring user to keep increasing quantities as they chase the initial high.
Ketamine Effects and Abuse
Ketamine is a dissociative hallucinogenic tranquilizer that causes the user to experience a full-body buzz resulting in a pronounced sense of relaxation. Typically, the high lasts less than an hour. Higher doses typically taken through injections can lead to an effect known as the “K-hole.” The “K-hole” is where the individual has what has been described as a near-death or out-of-body experience, feeling completely detached from reality. The anesthetic properties can cause the person to feel numb, which may lead to accidents and serious injuries while under its influence.
Addiction to Ketamine
An addiction to Ketamine is difficult to overcome without help. Even when someone wants to stop using the drug, chemical changes in the brain make it nearly impossible to stop.
Once an individual becomes addicted, they spend their days feeling utterly detached from their surroundings, and become incapable of leading a normal, productive life. They are usually cognitively impaired at this stage, with speech and memory both affected.
Signs of an addiction to Ketamine include:
- Increasing the amount of use
- Becoming obsessed with the next hit
- Spending excessive amounts of money on the drug
- Failing to keep up with responsibilities such as school and work
- Building up a tolerance and needing more and more to feel the high
- Neglecting friends and family
Seeking professional help is key to recovery from ketamine addiction. Treatment can help stabilize the brain’s chemical balance, making it easier to begin the psychological recovery process.
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