Ketamine: Personal and social consequences

Last modified: Sunday, 31. May 2009 - 4:48 pm

Because of its hallucinatory qualities, ketamine is sometimes compared with other psychedelics, including LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin. There is no evidence to support that these types of drugs “cause” long-term psychotic or schizophrenic behaviors, but individuals with an underlying mental condition may find the drug experience triggers an outbreak of the disease.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that psychotic breaks and schizophrenia-like symptoms are far more frequent with heavy or regular dissociative anesthetic use than any other type of psychedelic.
Because of its pain-killing properties, ketamine can expose its users to grievous injury that may not become apparent until hours later. The sudden loss of consciousness associated with higher doses of ketamine can become life-threatening if the user is driving a car or swimming. Professionals caution that ketamine impairs judgement, mental sharpness, and muscle coordination for up to 24 hours after it is taken, long after the immediate effects of the drug have worn off. As discussed earlier, ketamine is also associated with the relaxation of sexual inhibitions, which can be dangerous if one of the partners has HIV.

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