Marissa Walker

What is Ketamine, and how is it used in medicine?

Ketmine also known as"Ketalar, Special K, or K hole" is as anesthetic that was developed in 1962 to serve as a pain killer for soldiers in the Vietnam war and animals such as racing horses. Today, ketamine is still used as an anesthetic for children or individuals who under go minor surgeries. Fig 1. Medicinal Ketamine. (Web MD).

How is Ketamine Consumed?

There are many ways Ketamine can get into the body such as injections with needles, smoked by the powder being added by tobacco or marijuana cigarette/joints, or it can be snorted or swallowed.

Ketamine Effects on the Mind and Body

The effect Ketamine has on the body do have less serious effects as some other club drugs may have. Ketamine may raise blood pressure, slow respiration, and or cause the user to fall unconscious. When a person is under the influence of Ketamine they may feel as though they are "out of body" and very disconnected from themselves and in a dreamlike state.


Ketamine increases activity or inhibits the activity of neurotransmitters like serotonin, glutamate, and dopamine in the body making the user feel dreamy, light, and content.

Short term and Long Term Effects of Ketamine

Short term:

  • Hallucinations
  • Difficulty with memory
  • Difficulty with awareness
  • Difficulty with mobility
  • Confusion
  • Sedation

Long term:

  • Ulcers
  • Depression
  • Kidney Problems
  • Stomach Pain
  • Memory problems

How long does it last?

Ketamine effects or "the trip" can last from 30 minutes to an hour or longer depending on the size of dosage. Days after the use of Ketamine a person may show symptoms of amnesia, schizophrenia, and impaired/lack of judgement skills. If the user took larger dosages than longer term effects may last for a while, effects like paranoia, depression, and other cognitive dysfunctions.
Woman Shares Her Experience Undergoing Ketamine Injections for Depression
Source: The Doctors. Woman Shares Her Experience Undergoing Ketamine Injection for
Depression. Youtube. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.

Withdrawal or Tolerance

There are no known symptoms of withdrawal or tolerance to Ketamine. When users overdose on Ketamine they will have bigger hallucinations and experience delirium.


Addiction to Ketamine is very rare and it isn't seen commonly. There are no medications that have been FDA approved that will help treat addiction. In addition, there are no current behavior treatments provided for Ketamine dependency due to lack of concrete behavioral research.