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Ketamine is used by medical practitioners and veterinarians as an anaesthetic. Ketamine is a dissociative drug, which means it acts on different chemicals in the brain to produce visual and auditory distortion, and a detachment from reality. It can also be made into pills, or dissolved in a liquid. Clinical trials and studies are assessing ketamine as a treatment for depression. Early indications show good .

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What is ketamine?

Ketamine is an anaesthetic with analgesic, stimulant and psychedelic properties. Chemically related to phencyclidine PCPit has been used extensively in human and veterinary medicine.

Users say that under its influence they assume a different point of view, outside of body and self. The drug comes in a variety of forms. Pharmaceutical ketamine is usually a liquid.

On the street it is more common to see tablets or a white crystalline powder. If sniffed the effects of ketamine generally come on quickly and can last from about 20 minutes to a couple of hours. It was reclassified from Class C in June In practice, maximum sentences are rarely used.

Stimulants, depressants and hallucinogens

For more information please see the sentencing on the Release website. Ketamine is a dissociative anaesthetic, meaning users will feel detached from themselves and their immediate surroundings. The drug also has painkilling, stimulant and psychedelic effects. Effects are immediate if injected, though this practice is rarer, with most users sniffing the drug. If sniffed, the effects will take around 20 minutes to come on, and can last for one or two hours.

The amount of ketamine taken determines both the extent and type of effect the drug will have. At a relatively low dosage around mgusers will commonly experience mild dissociative effects, hallucinations, and distortions of time and space. The user may experience hallucinations, similar to those while using LSD followed by numbness, often in the limbs, and strange muscle movements.

Users may also feel sick or throw up — which can be very dangerous at high doses if the user is unconscious or disorientated as people may choke on their vomit. Concerns over the risks of using the drug have been growing in recent years. Repeated or heavy use of ketamine appears to be particularly harmful to the urinary tract and can cause ulcerative cystitis, where the bladder wall thickens.

In some cases, individuals have had to have their bladders surgically removed.

The risk of death from accidents is also elevated while under the influence of ketamine. As a powerful analgesic, its use can make users more vulnerable to physical injury as the seriousness of an incident may not be immediately apparent. Its dissociative effects may also make users unaware of potentially risky behaviour. There is considerable evidence from ketamine users that heavy use of the drug can lead to dependence. Studies on animals, as well as reports from regular users, suggest that tolerance can develop, meaning that users need to take higher and higher doses to achieve the same effects.

Ketamine can be particularly dangerous if used at the same time as Is ketamine a depressant drugs such as alcohol, heroin or tranquillisers.

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The combined effects of these drugs can cause the body to shut down to such an extent that the lungs or heart may stop functioning. Ketamine first found its way on to the club and rave scene in the UK in when people took it thinking they were buying ecstasy. Of the twenty areas surveyed by DrugScope, three quarters reported increases both in the general Is ketamine a depressant of ketamine and in the s of people coming forward for help with psychological and physical problems associated with the drug.

More recently, Home Office statistics published inreport that ketamine use has fallen among 16 to 59 year olds from 0.

The figures showed that around 94, adults had used ketamine in England and Wales in the last year. The use of ketamine has remained relatively stable, between 0. What is Ketamine?