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What It Is:

Ketamine hydrochloride is a quick-acting anesthetic that is legally used in both humans (as a sedative for minor surgery) and animals (as a tranquilizer). At high doses, it causes intoxication and hallucinations similar to LSD.

Sometimes Called: K, Special K, vitamin K, bump, cat Valium, Kit Kat, Super acid, Purple
How It's Used: In different forms, ketamine can be snorted, swallowed, smoked, or injected. Users often use it along with other drugs such as Ecstasy (called kitty flipping) or cocaine or sprinkle it on marijuana blunts.
What It Does: People who use ketamine can become psychologically dependent on it to feel good, deal with life, or handle stress.

Users may become delirious, hallucinate, and lose their sense of time and reality. The trip — also called K-hole — that results from ketamine use lasts up to 2 hours. Users may become nauseated or vomit, and have problems with thinking or memory.

At higher doses, ketamine causes movement problems, body numbness, and slowed breathing. Overdosing on ketamine can stop breathing and cause death.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: February 2015

 
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Related Resources:
Addiction Help Line
Submit a request for a referral on this site, and it will help direct you to the nearest and most appropriate treatment centers.
American Council for Drug Education
The ACDE is a prevention and education agency against substance abuse. This website includes a helpful list of symptoms associated with specific drugs.
National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information
This organization provides resources and referrals related to drug and alcohol abuse. Call: (800) 729-6686
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
NIDA offers a science-based drug abuse education program for students, news, information, and resources.
Partnership for a Drugfree America
This site features information about drugs and their effects and treatments. The site also shows paraphernalia associated with different drugs and includes personal stories.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
This federal agency strives to improve the quality and availability of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation services in order to reduce illness, death, disability, and cost to society resulting from substance abuse and mental illnesses. Call: (800) 789-2647.