Effects of Ketamine
Ketamine is active at 10-15 mg when insufflated or injected into a muscle, while more common doses range between 30 and 75 mg. Effects are usually felt within the first five minutes, but they may take up to 15 minutes after insufflation. Injection has a faster, more intense onset.
Ketamine may also be swallowed by mixing the powder with a little hot water and orange juice. The threshold oral dose is 40-50 mg, but 75-300 mg is more common.
What to expect
At lower doses, ketamine may cause numbness, a tingling body-high (especially in the hands, feet, and head), jerky movements, rapid breathing, and dizziness. These effects are often accompanied by euphoria, relaxation, a feeling of weightlessness, mild visuals, and blurred or roving vision. Users may also experience introspective thoughts and enhanced appreciation for music. At higher doses, visual, auditory, and even gustatory (taste-oriented) hallucinations are common, with some reporting a metallic flavor in the mouth. Hallucinations may be extremely realistic, including conversations with friends who aren’t there.
At high-end “K-hole” doses, awareness of the physical environment and body dissolves. Out-of-body or near-death experiences are common, as are vivid internal realities and a distorted sense of time. The K-hole dosage is approximately 0.75 mg/lb injected or 1 mg/lb insufflated.
Some negative effects include paranoia, nausea, amnesia, and depersonalization—some of which may persist after frequent use.
A sitter is a good idea with ketamine, as it’s important to ensure a safe, comfortable environment. If alone, there should be no lit cigarettes or candles to be dropped or knocked over when bodily control is lost. Physical movement may become impossible, so it’s crucial not to take ketamine while driving, or anywhere near water. Numerous people have drowned in baths after losing physical control—including D. M. Turner and John C. Lilly.
Ketamine should also be taken on an empty stomach to avoid vomiting, which can lead to choking.
Common Side Effects
Some of the common short-term side effects that ketamine users experience include:
- Visual disturbances
- Confusion and disorientation
- Increased heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
- Nausea and vomiting
Depending on the dosage, some users can experience these more severe side effects of ketamine:
- Severe allergic reaction
- Hypotension and heart rhythm abnormalities
- Difficulty talking
- Abnormal movements
- Slowed or depressed breathing
Signs of Use
Some of the signs that someone might be using ketamine include:
- Changes in sleep habits
- Mood changes
- Difficulty speaking
- Memory problems
- Presence of drug paraphernalia
Long Term Effects
- Changes in mood and personality
- Poor concentration and memory loss
- Abdominal pain
- Drug Dependency
Mixing With Other Drugs
Ketamine + Alcohol or Opiates may lead to a reduced awareness of the amount of combined depressants being taken. This could result in overdose. Signs of overdose may include nausea and vomiting, slowed heart rate and breathing, coma and possibly even death.
Ketamine + Amphetamines, Ecstasy and Cocaine place an enormous strain on the body leading to an increased heart rate and the possibility of heart failure and or stroke.
Tolerance and Dependence
The use of ketamine can result in tolerance, dependence, and symptoms of withdrawal. When tolerance occurs, people require larger or more frequent doses of the drug to achieve the same effects they felt initially. Dependence occurs when a person needs to continue taking a drug in order to avoid the negative effects of withdrawal.
Once people have become tolerant, dependent, or addicted to ketamine, they are likely to experience symptoms of withdrawal when they stop taking it. These symptoms can range in severity from mild to more serious.
Symptoms of withdrawal can include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Lack of appetite
- Chills or sweats
How Long Does Ketamine Stay in Your System?
Ketamine has a half-life of approximately three hours, which means that it takes approximately 14 to 18 hours for the drug to be eliminated from a person's system. The exact range of time, however, depends on a variety of factors including how much of the drug was used as well as the individual's body mass, hydration levels, and metabolism.