Ketamine

Also known as Special K, Vitamin K, Kit Kat, ketamine is a veterinary anesthetic known as a “dissociative” due to users feeling detached from their environment. Effects can appear in 5-10 minutes.

A dissociative drug used as an anesthetic in veterinary practice. Dissociative drugs are hallucinogens that cause the user to feel detached from reality. For more information, see the Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs Research Report

Street Names Commercial Names Common Forms Common Ways Taken DEA Schedule
Cat Valium, K, Special K, Vitamin K Ketalar® Liquid, white powder Injected, snorted, smoked (powder added to tobacco or marijuana cigarettes), swallowed III**
Possible Health Effects
Short-term Problems with attention, learning, and memory; dreamlike states, hallucinations; sedation; confusion and problems speaking; loss of memory; problems moving, to the point of being immobile; raised blood pressure; unconsciousness; slowed breathing that can lead to death.
Long-term Ulcers and pain in the bladder; kidney problems; stomach pain; depression; poor memory.
Other Health-related Issues Sometimes used as a date rape drug.

Risk of HIV, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases from shared needles.
In Combination with Alcohol Increased risk of adverse effects.
Withdrawal Symptoms Unknown.
Treatment Options
Medications There are no FDA-approved medications to treat addiction to ketamine or other dissociative drugs.
Behavioral Therapies More research is needed to find out if behavioral therapies can be used to treat addiction to dissociative drugs.

How can you tell if a friend is using?

  • Euphoria
  • Dilated pupils
  • Sweating
  • Disorientation, confusion
  • Impaired coordination
  • Amnesia