What Is Ketamine?

Last Updated: Feb 24th 2020

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky

What Is Ketamine?

It’s not uncommon for people to ask, “What is ketamine?” After all, this drug isn’t always known by this name. On the streets, people refer to ketamine as Special K, Super C or Cat Valium. This is an anesthetic that was first put on the market in 1963. The goal of this drug was to replace PCP.

As of 2017, ketamine is still in use as an anesthetic for humans and animals. However, the majority of ketamine on the street comes from veterinarian offices. This is one of the reasons why people call it Cat Valium.

What Is Ketamine Used for Outside of Professional Use?

Outside of professional use, people use ketamine to experience a high. Users say that it creates a near-death or out-of-body experience. Since it can leave users powerless or in dream-like states, people sometimes call it a date rape drug. Ketamine is a Schedule III drug, so it has the potential for abuse or drug addiction.

Signs of Ketamine Abuse

A lot of people overlook ketamine abuse as alcohol abuse because the signs and symptoms are very similar. Some of these include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Disorientation
  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • Impaired thinking
  • Memory impairment
  • Mood changes

Long term ketamine abuse causes a number of very unpleasant side effects. Studies show that ketamine causes damage to the urinary tract and bladder. This is a symptom called ketamine bladder syndrome. In some cases, it can cause ulcers to form in the bladder or result in blood in the urine.

Another problem is that individuals on ketamine can receive serious injuries and be unaware that anything happened. Reports show that people who abuse ketamine can bleed out because they aren’t aware of their injuries. Other serious problems can result from mixing ketamine with other drugs.

Get Help Dealing With Your Addiction at 1st Step Behavioral Health

1st Step Behavioral Health is a drug and alcohol rehab center that focuses on providing quality care. The majority of people who struggle with addiction to drugs are unable to stop with willpower alone. This is where the professionals at 1st Step Behavioral Health can help.

1st Step Behavioral Health has two-bedroom apartments that come with fully finished kitchens. We also have 120 beds and enough staff to tackle full capacity. The staff members put client needs first through both outpatient and inpatient programs. Some of the other features that 1st Step Behavioral Health offers include:

  • A nurse practitioner who is on-site five days a week and specializes in therapy
  • Dual diagnosis treatment programs
  • Life skills management
  • Holistic therapies
  • Relapse treatment

Now that you have a better answer for, “what is ketamine?”, it’s time to get help. Don’t let addiction rule your life. Getting help for yourself or a loved one quickly can make the recovery process easier. Contact 1st Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126 for more information on ketamine addiction.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.