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What’s Ketamine?

May 26, 2010 in Employee Drug Testing Information

Ketamine: Ketamine, also known as special K, K, vitamin K, and fort dodge, is a derivative of PCP (a powerful psychedelic drug) that has become increasingly popular. Although more difficult to produce than PCP, users can obtain large, inexpensive quantities from veterinary pharmacies in Mexico. Ketamine is commonly used in hospitals for sedation and pain relief.

  • What it looks like: Ketamine is abused in clubs and other social situations. Most often, ketamine is inhaled, but it may also be injected into muscle or fat just below the skin or placed into the rectum. It has also been used to ease the crash associated with cocaine or amphetamine binges.
  • What it does: Ketamine increases blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tone, and salivation. The clinical effects begin within minutes and last up to an hour. Overdose, which is often referred to as falling into a “K hole,” is common. Overdose is characterized by severe brain-body dissociation, or inability to sense what the environment is really like, and vomiting, restlessness, and tiredness. Ketamine can also produce an emergence reaction resulting in nightmares, floating sensation, visual and hearing disturbances, out-of-body experiences, agitation, and confusion that last up to a day after drug use. During this time, users are not necessarily asleep and usually remember the event.
  • Harmful effects: Although the long-term effects of ketamine abuse have not been well studied, it is suggested that out-of-body experiences may recur even without additional use of the drug, and psychosis (severe mental instability) from chronic use may occur.

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