dissociative anesthetic


Ketamine may be in the form of a liquid that is injected or a powder, the latter used illegally. Developed to replace PCP, ketamine has a similar chemical makeup as PCP. Ketamine is known chemically as 2-(2-chlorophenyl)-2-(methylamino)-cyclohexanone.

Street names

K, Special K, Cat Tranquilizer, cat valium, vitamin K

Federal classification

Schedule III


Ketamine is ingested by through snorting or swallowing. It is sometimes consumed mixed into a beverage because it is tasteless and odorless.

Medicinal use

Ketamine is used in its liquid form for both human and veterinary anesthesia, such as in operations and other medical procedures.

The experience

Ketamine is a psychedelic that causes hallucinations and out-of-body experiences through dissociation. Dissociation is a split in consciousness that allows some sensations to occur simultaneously with others. This applies to ketamine because it causes experiences that are separate from the physical presence of the body. Examples include feelings of floating or those similar to near-death experiences. When experiences become extremely apart from sensory input, they are called the "K-hole."


Some of ketamine's effects are short-term. It is easy to blackout when using ketamine. A small dose of ketamine may only produce impaired memory, learning ability, and attention skills. More pressing issues such as amnesia, delirium, high blood pressure, and deadly respiratory problems are associated with larger doses of the drug.

Long term effects of ketamine include prolonged short-term and visual memory impairment, bladder problems, and pelvic pain. Studies have reported a decrease in psychological well-being in users of the drug for over a year.


One does not develop a physical dependence for ketamine. Rather, the addiction to ketamine is heavily psychological. This may be due to pleasure felt during hallucinatory experiences, which can lead an individual to continue using the drug to achieve this feeling.

A myth debunked

Ketamine, because of its ability to pass undetected in a drink, can be given to someone to lower their awareness. It can be used in this way in rape situations. A misconception is that only women need to worry about this. This is not true because while one is under the influence he may also be subject to robbery or "date rape," men included.


Above the Influence | Sick