Many clinical trials and studies are currently being undertaken to assess ketamine as a treatment for depression, early indications are showing good results. Ketamine is used by medical practitioners and veterinarians as an anesthetic. The drug has been available by prescription in the U.S. since the 1970s for human and veterinary use. In some cases, it is used illegally by people to get high. Ketamine is capable of producing psychedelic effects, causing a person to see, smell, hear, feel, or taste things that aren’t really there or are different in how they are in reality. When sold illegally, ketamine usually comes as a white crystalline powder. In this case, we talk of ketamine powder, regularly sold on the streets. However, it can be made into tablets and pills, or dissolved in a liquid.
Uses of Ketamine
- Ketamine can provide pain relief and short term memory loss (as example, we have amnesia of a medical procedure)
- Ketamine has been used for pain control in burn therapy, children who can’t use other anesthetics due to side effects or allergies, and battlefield injuries
- It is used in surgery as an induction and maintenance agent for sedation and to provide general anesthesia
- Unlike opioids, it presents a lower chance of depressed breathing, making it a preferred anesthetic
- It is under research and holding promise as a treatment for severe depression in challenging cases
How is Ketamine powder used?
Most people who use ketamine powder do snort it. Here, users often talk of taking a ‘bump’, meaning they snort a small amount of ketamine. Snorting is the most common way of taking ketamine powder in the UK.
Side effects of ketamine
As we know, the use of any drug always carries some level of risk and this is the case with ketamine. Ketamine affects everyone differently based on:
- the amount taken
- size, weight and health
- whether the person is used to taking it
- the strength of the drug (varies from batch to batch)
- whether other drugs are taken around the same time.
Below are some side effects that can be experienced when consuming ketamine:
- feeling happy and relaxed
- feeling detached from your body (‘falling into a k-hole’)
- confusion and clumsiness
- anxiety, panic and violence
- increased heart rate and blood pressure
- slurred speech and blurred vision
- lowered sensitivity to pain.
Long term or regular use of ketamine may lead to the following side effects:
- poor sense of smell (from snorting)
- mood and personality changes, depression
- poor memory, thinking and concentration
- ketamine bladder syndrome (see below)
- needing to use more to get the same effect
- abdominal pain
- dependence on ketamine
- financial, work and social problems.
If you must use it, make sure that you discuss with your medical health care provider about its convenience and for a proper dosage as overdose can lead to death in extreme conditions. In case of an overdose (manifested through severe and/or prolonged side effects), always reach out to your doctor.