What is Ketamine?
In Slovakia, it is included in the III. groups of narcotic and psychotropic substances, so it is possible to obtain it in a form of a prescription drug, but its production, distribution or possession outside prescribed medical purposes are illegal. It belongs to a group with anesthetic (blocks sensory) effects. In the brain, it binds to and blocks NMDA and GABA receptors. While NMDA receptors play an important role in the formation of memory footprints and learning, GABA receptors regulate muscle tension, suppress the transmission of information in the body, and have relaxing and calming effects. It is used in medicine as an anesthetic for humans and animals, to relieve pain or to treat depression. Ketamine is most often distributed in the form of a pure liquid for medical purposes, or on the street in the form of a granular white and brown crystalline powder. It also rarely occurs in the form of tablets. It is odorless and has a hot taste. It can be addictive, especially if used in the same environment (e.g. in a club).
What are the effects of Ketamine?
It has a relaxing effect, causes feelings of euphoria, changes the perception of the body and gravity, reduces motor skills (be aware of this if you plan to use ketamine at a party or festival), reduces a desire for sex and the ability to reach orgasm. It also relieves pain, causes feelings of tickling, dissociation (a feeling of separation from one’s body and mind) and causes auditory, visual and internal hallucinations. Many users have encountered “K-hole”, an experience most often described as a near-death experience, where they experience feelings as if they have left their bodies and separated from their selves, completely losing track of time and ability to move. The dose at which the “K-hole” can be experienced is different for everyone, but it is usually in the range of medium to high doses per kilogram of body weight (you can find out more below). Side effects include dry mouth, loss of consciousness, nausea, vomiting, suppression of memories, inability to recognize visual sensations, increased blood pressure and increased heart rate (may cause confusion, dissociation and agitation). There is a frequent acute need to empty the bladder after taking ketamine. The effects of ketamine and their potency depend to a large extent on the dosage, which is much wider than other drugs. For example, while lower doses do not restrict exercise at all, higher doses may make it completely impossible, and you may remain “stuck” to the ground for a while, regardless of the environment. Long-term use can cause cognitive impairment, paranoid states, urinary tract damage and abdominal pain. Ketamine can also cause short-term memory impairment that occurs with regular use (more than 4 times a week), but irregular use (1-4 times a month) does not. Unfortunately, compared to the general population, regular, irregular, but also abstinent users have more delusional symptoms. Despite its antidepressant effects, it causes depression with frequent use. Mental and physical dependence can be created on ketamine. When addicted, it also causes withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, chills, depression, fatigue, sweating and palpitations. Never use ketamine during pregnancy. If you do not take ketamine, you will avoid all risks.
How do I reduce the risks associated with use?
The dose of ketamine depends on your weight and how you use it. It can be taken orally (the least risky use), under the tongue, by injection (the riskiest use) and sniffing. It is most often used by sniffing, so we will give values for this way of use. The dosage is between 5-250 mg, with the usual dose being between 30-75 mg. Dosage in proportion to body weight can be divided into 3 steps based on the effects:
- A low dose (0.25-0.5 mg / kg) causes feelings of euphoria, suppresses anxiety, relieves pain;
- Medium dose (0.75-1 mg / kg) causes dissociation, hallucinations, severely restricts movement;
- A high dose (1.5-2 mg / kg) causes very strong dissociation (experience as if you were “close to death”), temporary loss of identity, severe hallucinations, possible anxiety about the power of the experience, almost impossible movement, not recommended in public environment.
- However, body weight is not the only factor affecting the strength of the effects, so you better try the effects at lower doses and always consider the environment in which you plan to use the drug. When sniffing, the effects appear within 5 minutes and last for 1-1.5 hours. Finish of effects can last up to 12 hours, characterized by mild dissociation and antidepressant effects. During the continuation of effects, definitely avoid driving a motor vehicle and ideally also walking. If you are in a club, find a place where you will be able to sit for a long time. It is not known how large intervals between uses keep the level of risk of long-term adverse effects to a minimum, so we recommend adhere to at least 2-3 months. After use, you will develop a temporary tolerance, which will disappear after 2 weeks if you do not take ketamine often. However, this tolerance applies to all types of sedatives, so for example, Xanax will have a weaker effect during this time. Never use ketamine near water (bath, pool, river, etc.) because you risk drowning. Also, never take ketamine alone and always have at least one sober person close to you.
Combination of Ketamine and other psychoactive substances – what to avoid?
Definitely avoid all combinations with benzodiazepines (e.g. Xanax, Lexaurin), sedatives, alcohol, GHB, GBL and opioids as their interaction with ketamine increases the likelihood of ataxia (inability to move), sedation and loss of consciousness during which you risk vomiting and suffocating unless you are in a stabilized position. Stimulants such as amphetamines, MDMA or cocaine increase blood pressure as well as ketamine, so their combination increases the load on the circulatory system and heart. Also beware of the combination with serotonin antidepressants (MAOIs, tricyclics, SSRIs) and grapefruit juice, as in both cases the potency of the ketamine used increases and you risk much stronger effects than you planned to achieve and a “bad trip”. This also applies in combination with hallucinogens. In short: if you are going to take ketamine, you should really avoid any combination with other drugs, because despite the small number of deadly interactions, you have almost no chance of getting better compared to taking ketamine alone, you risk only making it worse.