On prescription ketamine comes as a clear liquid, but on the street it's a white powder or tablet. The powder is bought in a paper "wrap", similar to amphetamine, and can be swallowed or inhaled ("snorted"). The tablet is usually swallowed, but if ground up it can be inhaled.
The ketamine effect
- There's an initial rush, similar to the cocaine rush, that may happen within 30 seconds if the drug is injected, or 20-30 minutes if swallowed. Then it's rapidly downhill for about the next three hours.
- the body is numb and paralysed
- there may be sickness and vomiting
- co-ordination goes and the simplest tasks are impossible
- there's a feeling of being weightless and of being separated from the body
- terrifying hallucinations can occur; limbs feel as though they're growing and shrinking; there's tunnel vision and faces look grossly distorted. The hallucinations seem as if they'll never stop and there's a feeling of being close to death.
Ketamine and ecstasy
- Be aware. Ketamine is one of the drugs most often "cut" with MDMA in ecstasy pills.
- People sometimes say they've had a "smacky" E, meaning it made them feel sedated, instead of euphoric and energetic. In fact, this pill may have contained ketamine.
- Worse still, ketamine pills are sometimes sold as ecstasy so be careful. Ketamine has anything but the effect of an E, and can be terrifying for someone who isn't prepared for it.
What is ketamine
Ketamine is a "dissociative anaesthetic", which means it detaches the mind from the body. It's used as a HORSE TRANQUILLIZER and is related to the veterinary anaesthetic PCP, also known as angel dust.
- Ketamine is not a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act so it's not illegal to possess it.
- Its sale and supply are controlled under the Medicines Act, so it's illegal to give it away or sell it.
This is HORRIBLE stuff
- Ketamine is not a dance drug and taking it in a club is a bad idea. The noisy, disorientating environment will worsen the bad effects of ketamine.
- Never take it on the spur of the moment.
- DON'T MIX KETAMINE with any other drugs. Ketamine and speed, ketamine and acid, and ketamine and alcohol are all recipes for disaster.
If something goes wrong
Your friend may see or hear frightening things that aren't really there - this is known as hallucinating. Reassure her that the things she can see or hear are imaginary and will soon pass. Stay with your friend until the bad trip is over.
- If your friend is breathing, place him in the recovery position. Call an ambulance. Tell the medical staff what your friend has taken - it could save his life. Be prepared to resuscitate your friend if he stops breathing.
- If your friend vomits while he's unconscious, check that he's still breathing.