Ketamine Safety Guide

A guide on ketamine safety, a publication by OnPoint NYC.

OnPoint-NYC-EducationBinder_KS-Brochure

HOW IS KETAMINE USED?
  • Ketamine can be sniffed, swallowed, injected, booty bumped, or smoked with cannabis or tobacco.
  • If taking ketamine orally, mix it with a bit of hot water and orange juice.
  • IV injection is highly discouraged since this can cause immediate loss of consciousness.
  • Skin popping— aka injecting into the muscle– is a safer injecting alternative, but make sure to use new equipment to decrease the risk of abscesses and other infections!
  • Booty bumping is another safer injecting alternative. Since no needles are involved, it has a much smaller risk of injury and infection. Check out our booty bumping brochure to learn more!

ONLINE RESOURCES:

  1. Drugs and Me (Ketamine): www.drugsand.me/en/drugs/ketamine
  2. The Third Wave (The Essential Guide to Ketamine): www.thethirdwave.co/psychedelics/ketamine
  3. Talk to Frank (Ketamine): www.talktofrank.com/drug/ketamine
 
WHAT IS KETAMINE?

  • Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic. It is used in human anesthesia and veterinary medicine. Ketamine is also sometimes used in depression treatment.
  • Ketamine is known for producing a trance-like state while providing pain relief, sedation, and memory loss.
  • Ketamine either comes as an off-white powder or clear liquid. It is relatively safe; HOWEVER, it can cause many negative effects, especially if it’s taken by accident! (e.g., unknowingly added to another drug.)
 
WHAT ARE KETAMINE’S EFFECTS?

  • Psychological effects: Euphoria, feeling dream-like and detached/dissociated, confusion/dizziness, not making sense, frightening distortions and hallucinations.
  • Physical effects: Increase in energy, increase in heart rate/pulse, nausea/vomiting, loss of control of body movements and balance, slurred speech, teeth grinding, blurry vision.
  • In serious cases, people can also go into “k-holes“: This is when you become unaware of the world/your own body. It can be hard to breathe, feel claustrophobic, cause the perception of paralysis and temporary loss of consciousness.
 
HOW LONG DO EFFECTS LAST?

  • Sniffing: Takes about 15 min to take effect. Lasts 30-60 min.
  • Injecting: Effects will be felt immediately. Lasts about 10 min.
    Dissociation/feeling “outside your body” effects can last over 20 min!
 
WHEN IS KETAMINE A MEDICAL PROBLEM?

  • Since ketamine causes a temporary rise in blood pressure, people with heart issues, uncontrolled high blood pressure, other stroke risk factors (e.g., family history of stroke, diabetes), or glaucoma are at increased risk for stroke.
  • Ketamine overdose signs include: vomiting, confusion, raised blood pressure, irregular heart rate, chest pain, being unable to move, violence or becoming very frightened, loss of consciousness.

WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF A K-HOLE/SUSPECTED KETAMINE USE

A k-hole can last up to 90 minutes! While usually harmless, it can be a frightening experience to the person and those around them.

SETTING
Ketamine can make it difficult to move around and have disorienting, frightening effects. It’s best to be in a safe and familiar place– away from law enforcement and strangers. Their presence can cause an avoidable confrontation.

KEEP THE PERSON COMPANY
Try to engage them in positive conversation and ask them if there’s anything that would help them feel better, such as water, soft music, laying down, etc.

IF THEY’RE HAVING TROUBLE MOVING OR ARE UNRESPONSIVE
Watch them carefully and monitor breathing and heart rate. Put them in the recovery position if needed. Due to ketamine’s nauseating effects, it’s possible for them to choke on their own vomit.

CALL 911 IF:

  1. The person is showing signs of overdose
  2. Concern of stroke or heart attack
  3. The person is acting erratically and you are concerned that they may be harmed or may accidentally cause harm.

No One Has To Die of An Overdose.

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