What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a central nervous system disruptor, meaning it distorts perceptions of sight and sound. It also contains depressant properties of the central nervous system which slows certain cerebral functions down. Developed in the 1960’s, it was used for medical purposes for its anesthetic (puts to sleep) and analgesic (relieves pain) properties. It was thus injected intravenously or intramuscularly.

Ketamine is also used for recreational purposes because of its hallucinogen properties. It can be found as a white powder, pill, capsule or even liquid form. It can be used orally, smoked or more frequently, sniffed.

Desired effects

Ketamine was destined for medical and veterinary use. Its use quickly turned illegal and recreational, mainly in party/club contexts. Here are the many effects that are sought after:

  • Euphoria
  • Visual and auditory hallucinations
  • Dissociation, the feeling of being outside one’s body
  • Insensitivity to pain
  • Feelings of calm
  • Feelings of floating
  • Distortion of thoughts, deep reflections bringing about introspection
  • Etc.

The duration of Ketamine effects varies according to the way it was taken. They generally last up to one hour when it is sniffed but can extend up to eight hours when used orally.

Side effects and other risks

Using Ketamine can also cause a lot of side effects, such as:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Anxiety
  • Disturbing hallucinations.

Prolonged use of Ketamine can damage the urinary tract system and cause bladder infections.

As with other psychoactive substances, the effects of Ketamine depend on many factors such as quantity, quality, the environment, the mental state of the person, etc. This is known as the law of effect.

What is a K-Hole?

K-Hole is an intense dissociative state following a large quantity or many small quantities of Ketamine. It is not an overdose, but rather a psychoactive effect of the person having an out-of-body experience. It can resemble free-falling down a hole, hence the name K-Hole. This could be experienced as a bad trip or a sought-after state.

Tolerance, addiction and withdrawal

The feelings of well-being that come with Ketamine use, can lead to a psychological addiction and thus wanting to recreate the experience more often. That is how a tolerance to Ketamine can develop quickly. One must therefore increase the dose to reach the same effect. Increasing doses can also increase side effects, whether short or long term.

When one stops using, they can feel withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches or even palpitations. There are still today, scientific debates on the existence of withdrawal symptoms. Further studies are needed to decide the issue.


The potential benefits of Ketamine

As with other hallucinogens, Ketamine has been the object of much research on the potential benefits on severe depression that is resistant to conventional treatments, post-traumatic stress disorders, and certain anxiety disorders. The results have been particularly promising.

Other studies have concentrated on the effects of Ketamine in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal.

We can help

If your use of ketamine or that of a loved one worries you, you are not alone: call us at 1-800-265-2626 or chat with us, bottom right of page. We can provide support, personalized information and refer you to resources adapted to your situation. Our services are available 24/7.