Ketamine (K, Special K, Vitamin K)

New Jersey Ketamine Possession and Distribution Criminal Defense Attorneys

Dangerous Drugs: Information About Ketamine

Street names:  K, Special K, Vitamin K

Drug Classification:  Ketamine is a Schedule III drug in the US under the Controlled Substances Act. This means the drug has a recognized medical use, but potential for abuse is high and can cause dependence.

General Information

Ketamine is an anesthetic and a dissociative drug that was developed primarily for use on animals in veterinary medicine. It is not medically used on humans because it causes patients to have hallucinogenic episodes, though it still has limited medical application.

Ketamine comes in a clear liquid form that is often injected into a muscle (IM) or vein (IV), though the latter is less common and highly dangerous. The liquid is also often evaporated out of the solution, leaving a white or off-white powder that users snort (insufflate) to produce feelings of detachment and dissociation from one’s body. Ketamine can also be ingested orally.


Low doses of ketamine produce a “floaty” and numbing feeling, while higher doses can cause intense hallucinations and feelings of detachment from ones body. Physically, the effects of ketamine range from generally intoxication and uncoordination to full paralysis, leaving users unable to move or communicate with those around them. Negative experiences like these are generally referred to as “k-holes” or “falling into a k-hole” and can be accompanied by intense paranoia and anxiety. Dangers exists from users being completely incapacitated, and at least one death has been reported of a user ingesting ketamine and drowning in his bathtub. Physical effects of ketamine include dry mouth, difficulty breathing, intense nausea, and vomiting.

Dangers of Mixing “K” With Other Substances

Mixing ketamine with other drugs is common and dangerous. Tablets of ketamine are often sold as ecstasy, though the effects of the drug are nothing alike. Users of ketamine can also be mistaken as drunk, though it is dangerous to combine alcohol or any depressants with ketamine, as it will intensify its sedative effects.

Addiction, Tolerance and Long-Term Damage

Ketamine is not known to be physically addictive but it is incredibly psychologically addictive and tolerance builds up quickly. While studies are inconclusive as to whether Ketamine causes brain damage, heavy users have reported changes in personality and psychological difficulties from use. The methods of using the drug can also cause substantial physical harm. Excessive snorting or anything can damage the nasal cavity and mucous membranes, and injecting the drug brings dangers from shared needles and infections.(4)