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What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a powerful anaesthetic drug (often known as a horse tranquilliser) that can produce out-of body experiences and hallucinations
It comes in various forms – as a powder, pill or a liquid. This means it can be snorted, taken orally or injected.
Why would people use ketamine?
Smaller doses can make people feel energetic whilst given them a feeling of euphoria.
Many users take ketamine in order to get a floaty, out-of-body feeling.
Ketamine often produces hallucinations that can distort the user’s perception of the world around them.
But there are serious risks
It is often difficult to know how strong the dose of ketamine is so it can be hard to control the effects.
It can be tricky to identify ketamine as it’s mainly found in white powder form. It may be mixed with or mistaken for other substances.
Hallucinations can leave you feeling very anxious, panicky and unaware of your surroundings. Users can also become unconscious due to the sedative nature of the drug. This can leave you vulnerable to things such as theft or being raped.
Mixing ketamine with other drugs, especially alcohol or ecstasy, can make you feel sick. The sedative effect of ketamine means there is then a risk of chocking on your vomit.
Ketamine can put users more at risk of having accidents as they are not aware of the environment around them. As ketamine is an anaesthetic (something that stops the body feeling pain in a normal way) if an accident does occur the user may be unaware of the harm they have caused themselves.
Some people display symptoms of paranoia and aggression during and/or after use.
As most ketamine is snorted users can suffer nasal problems such as ulcers and nosebleeds. Anyone who shares straws or notes when snorting is at risk of catching blood-borne viruses like hepatitis or HIV.
Research suggests there are some risks of long-lasting changes to the way that the brain works after someone has taken ketamine. It may also cause bladder and kidney damage, with symptoms of pain and burning whilst passing urine.
Ketamine is a Class C drug.
This means that if you are caught in possession of ketamine you could get sent to prison for up to 2 years.
If you are found dealing ketamine you could get a 14 year prison sentence.
Sentences can also come with an unlimited fine.
There is no safe way of taking ketamine
The safest thing to do is not to take ketamine at all but here are some ways to help minimise the risks:
- Try to avoid using ketamine in an unsafe environment as it can be hard for you to stay in control.
- If you are going to use ketamine try and be with your friends you trust to look after you in case problems occur.
- Use a small amount to start with in order to minimise the risk of overdose.
- Avoid mixing ketamine with other drugs. Using with alcohol can be especially dangerous as they are both drugs that slow down the way the body works.
- If you are snorting ketamine don’t share straws or notes with your mates as diseases can pass on through tiny droplets of blood.