Ketamine/Special K Substance Abuse Overview

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a hallucinogen. It distorts perceptions of sight and sound and makes the user feel disconnected and not in control. It is an injectable, short-acting anesthetic for use in humans and animals. It is referred to as a “dissociative anesthetic” because it makes patients feel detached from their pain and environment. Ketamine can induce a state of sedation (feeling calm and relaxed), immobility, relief from pain, and amnesia (no memory of events while under the influence of the drug). It is abused for its ability to produce dissociative sensations and hallucinations. Ketamine has also been used to facilitate sexual assault. Ketamine comes in a clear liquid and a white or off-white powder. Powdered Ketamine (100 milligrams to 200 milligrams) typically is packaged in small glass vials, small plastic bags, and capsules as well as paper or aluminum foil folds.

Street Names:

  • Cat Tranquilizer
  • Cat Valium,
  • Jet,
  • K
  • Kit Kat
  • Purple
  • Special K
  • Special La Coke
  • Super Acid
  • Super K
  • Vitamin K

Methods of Abuse

Ketamine, along with the other “club drugs,” has become popular among teens and young adults at dance clubs and “raves.” Ketamine is manufactured commercially as a powder or liquid. Powdered Ketamine is also formed from pharmaceutical ketamine by evaporating the liquid using hot plates, warming trays or microwave ovens, a process that results in the formation of crystals, which are then ground into powder. Powdered Ketamine is cut into lines known as bumps and snorted, or it is smoked, typically in marijuana or tobacco cigarettes. Liquid ketamine is injected or mixed into drinks. Ketamine is found by itself or often in combination with MDMA, Amphetamine, Methamphetamine or Cocaine.

Effect on the Mind

As noted above, Ketamine produces hallucinations. It distorts perceptions of sight and sound and makes the user feel disconnected and not in control. A “Special K” trip is touted as better than that of LSD or PCP because its hallucinatory effects are relatively short in duration, lasting approximately 30 to 60 minutes as opposed to several hours. Slang for experiences related to Ketamine or effects of Ketamine include: “K-land” (refers to a mellow & colorful experience), “K-hole” (refers to the out-of-body, near death experience), “Baby food” (users sink in to blissful, infantile inertia), and “God” (users are convinced that they have met their maker). The onset of effects is rapid and often occurs within a few minutes of taking the drug, though taking it orally results in a slightly slower time for effects to begin. Flashbacks have been reported several weeks after Ketamine is used. Ketamine may also cause agitation, depression, cognitive difficulties, unconsciousness and amnesia.

Effect on the Body

A couple of minutes after taking the drug, the user may experience an increase in heart rate and blood pressure that gradually decreases over the next 10 to 20 minutes. Ketamine can make users unresponsive to stimuli. When in this state, users’ eyes involuntarily move rapidly, their pupils are dilated, they salivate, secrete tears and their muscles stiffen. This drug can also cause nausea.

An overdose can cause unconsciousness and dangerously slowed breathing.

Ketamine/Special K Treatment

Inspirations for Youth and Families is a 32 bedroom, residential facility for teens specializing in all types of substance abuse and addiction, including for Ketamine. The drug’s abuse requires therapeutic treatment and at times, even psychological help; that’s what we’re here for. We understand what you are going through and we care about the future of your teen. Our gender based treatment program includes family therapy, music and art therapy, psychotherapy and recreational therapy. Along with the proper care from licensed, in-house therapists and a superior staff, we are confident that our teen rehab can be a step in the right direction for you and your teen.