Ketamine (ket-a-meen) also known as ket, K or special K was first used as a recreational drug in 1965. It is often referred to as a ‘horse tranquiliser’ as it is used in veterinarian and human medicine. It is also popular on the recreational drug scene; in dance clubs and during sex.

Ketamine is a dissociative drug which can slow down messages from your body to your brain and make you feel detached from your surroundings. Low doses taken in a club can be stimulating with increased energy and a pleasant high whereas using it

in a quiet, relaxed place with friends can be very spiritual and calming. Higher doses tend to be trippy with people describing an out of body experience called a ‘K hole’. Larger doses of ketamine can affect your balance and coordination and frequent and/or long term ketamine use can damage the bladder.

It comes in an off-white powder or clear odourless liquid and can be snorted, injected into a muscle or swallowed in a cigarette paper (bombed). An average dose for snorting will give around 34 lines from a gram, for swallowing around 13 bombs from a gram and for injecting around 40 doses from a gram. These doses should not be taken as recommendations as dose varies depending on quality and product.

Snorting and injecting often causes effects to come on quicker than swallowing and it can be a more intense experience although effects tend to last longer when the drug is swallowed (also taking longer to come on).

What you need to know

If you choose to take ketamine:

– If snorting, grind down in to a fine powder to prevent damage to your nose.
– Alternate nostrils if snorting and clean your nostrils after each session to minimise damage.
– Avoid using in clubs if you’re an inexperienced or you intend taking larger amounts as you can become disoriented.
– Ketamine can affect your balance- try to stay in a hazard free environment.
– Don’t swallow the drip you may get at the back of your throat after taking ketamine as this can exhaserbate problems.
– To avoid the drip – try light and slow rather than fast, hard snorting
– Ketamine is an anaesthetic. If you feel less pain, you are at more risk of injuring yourself.
– There is a risk of bladder problems and kidney damage with regular and heavy use.
– A sign of bladder damage is cystitis. Symptoms of ketamine-induced ulcerative cystitis include the need to pee often and blood in your urine. The damage can be permentant leading to people wetting themselves and eventually being unable to use their bladder naturally. Men will often be unable to get an errection naturally.
– Regular use can also lead to ‘k-cramps’. The cause of the cramps are unknown.
– To reduce the risk of k-cramps, bladder and kidney damage avoid taking ketamine regularly or at heavy doses.
– Avoid mixing with other drugs especially downers such as alcohol or benzos as the effects are unpredictable and you may be more likely to overdose.