Drug information

Drug information

Ketamine

Definition:

Ketamine is a depressant drug which has severe sedative effects and was originally designed as a medication used for anaesthesia.

As a depressant drug, ketamine slows down the body’s functions. It produces a trance-like state and stops the brain from interpreting pain and causes memory loss. This state is sometimes referred to as a ‘k-hole’.

Ketamine comes in a clear liquid or crystal-like powder. It is often made into tablets.

Due to its anaesthetic effects,  ketamine has also been used for drink spiking.

Other nicknames for ketamine include: special k, k, tranquilliser, kit kat, super k, horse trank, lady k, vitamin k, ket.

Effects:

The list of effects on this website are not definitive or exhaustive. 

The short term effects of ketamine can include:

  • drowsiness
  • feeling relaxed or lethargic
  • feeling sad or unwell
  • increased sweating
  • fever
  • blurry vision
  • slurred speech
  • feeling disorientated
  • behaving abnormally or erratically
  • confusion and anxiety
  • seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling or experiencing things that aren’t really there
  • acting out of character, doing things you might not normally do or may regret
  • problems with coordination
  • eyes twitching
  • pupils contract and appear smaller
  • increased sex drive
  • insomnia
  • nausea or vomiting
  • shallow, fast-paced breathing
  • increased heart rate
  • increased blood pressure
  • serious allergic reaction
  • sense of touch and/or pain is reduced
  • muscles go stiff/loss of movement
  • drooling
  • irregular heartbeat
  • seizures
  • coma
  • memory loss
  • ‘near death’ experience
  • death

The long term effects of ketamine can include:

  • headaches
  • flashbacks (remembering things from when under the influence of ketamine)
  • personality changes
  • depression
  • poor memory and concentration
  • kidney and bladder problems
  • abdominal pain

Drug use can have a range of social consequences and can have impact not only on an individual, but also their relationships and their work or study. Drug use can cause financial issues, family problems and can also have legal consequences.

If you are concerned about your own or another person’s drug use we encourage you to seek professional help and assistance.

There are always risks associated with drug use. No use at all is the safest option.

If you suspect someone’s drink has been spiked, stay with them and seek urgent medical attention. If the person is unconscious or seriously unwell, call triple zero (000) immediately.

To report a drink spiking incident, which is not an emergency, call NSW Police on  131 444 or visit your local police station.

Further information and support:

If you suspect an overdose call triple zero (000) immediately.

In an emergency or crisis situation always call triple zero (000) for police, fire and ambulance and follow instructions.

  • Visit the Your Room website for more information about ketamine effects, risks, support services and other information
  • Visit the Australian Drug Foundation’s Drug Info website for information about drink spiking
  • Visit our Youth Solution Get Help page for the details of different support services available