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A-Z of Drugs

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A-Z of drugs

 of Drugs

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Ketamine

Also known as:

Green, slang, K, special k, super k, vitamin k and kitkat.

Ketamine and the law

In January 2006 Ketamine was classified as a Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, which means it is illegal to possess and supply.  Possession of Ketamine can result in two years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

What is ketamine?

Ketamine is a fast acting, powerful anaesthetic with pain killing and mind altering effects.  

What does it look like?

It usually comes in a white crystalline powder and is indistinguishable from other powdered drugs like cocaine and amphetamines.   It comes in a liquid form for pharmaceutical purposes but can also be found in a pill form

How is it used?

Ketamine can be snorted through the nose, smoked, injected and swallowed.   

What are the effects?

The effects of ketamine are dose specific and will depend upon how much you take.   At low doses it acts as a mild stimulant and users experience an uplifted, euphoric feeling with rushes of energy.   With a medium dose the mental effects become more powerful and it acts as an anaesthetic.   People will commonly say they feel detached from themselves and their surroundings.   This can be followed by numbness and strange muscle movements and users may feel sick.   At higher doses users may experience some effects similar to LSD such as hallucinations and disorientation.   They may not be able to move at all and even fall into a deep trance.

When do the effects start and how long do they last?

If ketamine is snorted the effects appear in about 15 minutes and rapidly wear off after about 45 to 90 minutes.   This is slower if ketamine is swallowed.   Here effects start up after around 30 minutes and can last up to four hours.

What are the risks?

Users who take large doses run the risk of chocking on their own vomit if they lose consciousness.   Accidents from lack of co-ordination may be more likely and the feeling of detachment can linger for several days after use.   As a depressant ketamine should not be mixed with other depressants such as heroin, GHB and alcohol as it can close the body down to such an extent that the lungs and heart can stop functioning.  

Reports suggest that the long term use of ketamine can cause psychosis, flashbacks, memory impairment and a gradual detachment with the real world.   

Is it addictive?

Ketamine is not physically addictive but users can become dependent on the feeling it gives.

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Tel: 01782 235708 . Fax: 01782 235003 . E-mail: drugactionteam@stoke.gov.uk