ketamine

Ketamine

Overview

Ketamine is a dissociative anaesthetic and a hallucinogenic drug that was first synthesized in the 1960s. It is known for its unique effects on consciousness, causing a detachment from reality and profound alterations in perception and cognition. Ketamine is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance in the United States and is primarily used in medical settings as an anaesthetic and analgesic for humans and animals. However, it has also gained popularity as a recreational drug and, more recently, has shown promise in psychiatric and therapeutic applications.

Experience

The experience of using ketamine varies depending on the dosage and the individual’s tolerance. It is often consumed in a powder form, which can be snorted, injected, or ingested. Some people also use it as a recreational party drug, where it is taken in lower doses to induce a sense of detachment and altered perception. At higher doses, often referred to as a “K-hole,” users may experience intense dissociation, visual and auditory hallucinations, and a profound sense of timelessness.

Effects

Ketamine’s effects can be wide-ranging and may include:

  • Dissociation: A feeling of detachment from one’s body and surroundings.
  • Hallucinations: Both visual and auditory hallucinations are common, especially at higher doses.
  • Altered perception: Users may feel like they are floating, time is distorted, and reality is distorted.
  • Euphoria: Ketamine can induce a sense of intense well-being and relaxation.
  • Sedation: It can cause drowsiness and relaxation.
  • Impaired motor skills: Coordination and balance may be significantly affected.
  • Nausea and vomiting: These side effects can occur, especially when taken in higher doses.

How to

  • Intravenous Injection:
    • This is the most common method in hospital settings, especially for anaesthesia.
    • Ketamine is injected directly into the bloodstream through a vein.
    • It allows for rapid onset of effects and precise dosage control.
  • Intramuscular Injection:
    • Ketamine can also be injected into a muscle.
    • This method is sometimes used in emergency settings or when IV access is not feasible.
    • The onset of effects is slightly slower compared to IV administration.
  • Nasal Spray:
    • Esketamine, a form of ketamine, is approved in some countries as a nasal spray for treatment-resistant depression.
    • This method allows for self-administration under medical supervision in a healthcare setting.
  • Oral Administration:
    • Ketamine can be taken orally as a pill or a liquid.
    • This method is less common due to lower bioavailability and slower onset of action.
    • Oral ketamine is sometimes used in pain management or for outpatient treatment of depression.
  • Sublingual (Under the Tongue):
    • Sublingual ketamine involves placing a lozenge or a liquid under the tongue.
    • It allows for relatively quick absorption through the mucous membranes of the mouth.
  • Rectal Administration:
    • This less common method involves the administration of ketamine as a suppository.
    • It is occasionally used in pediatric settings or when other routes are not viable.
  • Topical Application:
    • For pain management, ketamine can be used in creams or gels applied to the skin, though this is relatively rare.

Can you mix it with other substances? Click here for a detailed chart of safe drug combinations.

Benefits & Risks

BenefitsMedical Use: Ketamine is a valuable anaesthetic and analgesic in medical settings, especially for procedures in which traditional anaesthetics are not suitable.
Psychiatric Treatment: Ketamine is being explored as a treatment for depression, anxiety, and PTSD, with some promising results in clinical trials.
Acute Pain Management: It can provide effective pain relief for certain conditions and injuries.
RisksDependency: Ketamine has the potential for physical and psychological dependence when used recreationally.
Short-Term Side Effects: Nausea, vomiting, confusion, and disorientation can occur.
Long-Term Effects: Chronic use can lead to cognitive impairments and damage to the urinary system.
Psychological Distress: Some users may experience anxiety, panic, and a sense of unreality during and after use.
Illegality: In many places, recreational use of ketamine is illegal.

Therapeutic Use

Ketamine is increasingly being used in psychiatric and therapeutic contexts. It is administered under controlled settings and is showing promise in the treatment of depression, especially treatment-resistant depression. The effects of ketamine in these settings are believed to be related to its ability to enhance neuroplasticity and reduce symptoms of mood disorders.

Personal Growth

Some users have reported personal growth and insights from their 2C-B experiences. The altered state of consciousness can lead to introspection and self-reflection, potentially helping individuals gain new perspectives on their lives and relationships. However, these experiences can be highly subjective and variable.

Legality

Ketamine’s legality varies by country. In the United States, it is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance, making its recreational use illegal. However, it can be legally used by medical professionals for anesthesia and pain management. The legal status of ketamine in other countries varies, with some allowing its limited medical use and others strictly regulating it.

History & Stats

Ketamine was first synthesized in 1962 by Dr. Calvin Stevens and was approved for medical use in 1970. It gained popularity as an anesthetic and analgesic and later as a recreational drug in the club scene. In recent years, it has garnered attention in the field of psychiatry for its potential in treating mood disorders. Usage statistics have fluctuated over the years, with periods of increased recreational use and a growing interest in its therapeutic applications.

Myths

There are several myths and misconceptions about ketamine, including:

  • It is a “safe” party drug: Ketamine can have serious side effects and is not risk-free.
  • It is legal everywhere: The legal status of ketamine varies by country and region.
  • It is a guaranteed treatment for depression: While it shows promise, its efficacy varies among individuals, and more research is needed to understand its long-term effects.
  • It is not addictive: Ketamine has the potential for both physical and psychological dependence, especially when used recreationally.

It’s important to approach Ketamine with caution and understand its effects and risks. Have you had an experience with Ketamine and need support to integrate it? Or do you plan on having one and want the best setting possible? Book a session with one of our coaches.