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Ketamine, also known as “Special K”, “Jet”, and “K” is a dissociative anesthetic drug developed in 1962 by Dr. Craig Newlands of Wayne State University. Ketamine has numerous alternative uses such as pain reduction and depression management. In the early 1970s nonmedical ketamine originated in the West Coast as a club drug. In 1999 the United States recognized ketamine as a controlled substance due to its potential to cause physical and psychological dependency.

Ketamine can be consumed through snorting, injection, smoking or swallowing in either powder, liquid or pill form. It is often confused with cocaine due to their similar appearance. Powdered ketamine is also known as a date rape drug because it is difficult to detect and easy to mix in drinks. Effects appear in as little as ten minutes, producing distortions of sight and perception.

Symptoms impact people differently based on their size and the amount consumed. Commonly experienced short term and long term effects include increased heart rate, blood pressure, slurred speech, blurred vision and hallucinations. At extremely high levels ketamine produces a dreamlike state inhibiting a person’s ability to move. This detachment from one’s physical body to the outside world is commonly referred to as an “out of body experience.” Ketamine highs can last up to twenty four hours.

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