Health Alcohol and Drugs Ketamine What is ketamine?Ketamine is a strong general suppressant and anaesthetic used during operations on humans and animals. It is also used as a recreational drug by LGBTQ+ people. When taking ketamine, you are likely to feel as though your body and mind have been separated and you are having an out-of-body experience (sometimes referred to as a “K-hole”). Hallucinations and loss of feeling in parts of the body or the entire body are also common. How you are going to react to ketamine depends on the mood and environment that you are in at the time when you take it. K is usually taken in small doses, like in a bump off a key. How does ketamine affect my health?Occasional recreational use of K is not too harmful but when used on a regular basis, or on a daily basis, it can become as dangerous as alcohol is to an alcoholic. People often start taking it to forget their problems. Ketamine use can lead to bladder damage, which is irreparable in a third of cases. Although it can give you a trippy feeling, K is actually a tranquiliser that numbs your body. This means that you can seriously injure yourself without realising it until much later. If you take too much K, you can go into a K-hole but there have been no reported cases of anyone not coming out of it. Like other chems, K could lead to decreased inhibitions; you may forget about using condoms and put yourself at risk of catching an STI or HIV. It’s also often used for fisting because it’s an anaesthetic and makes your brain dissociate with the pain which you would be feeling if you were to get fisted soberly. Even though K is a sedative, it does not work topically so if you put it on your arsehole (as some gay men do), it’s not going to numb it. Similarly to G, if you are in a vulnerable situation, like passed out in a sauna cubicle or in a random shag’s house, this could leave you open to sexual abuse and expose you to STIs and HIV. Can I mix ketamine with alcohol and other drugs?Never mix K with G or alcohol as all of these are suppressants and highly dangerous to the respiratory system. Is ketamine illegal?Ketamine is a Class B drug and you can go to prison for up to five years for possession and 14 years for supply and/or an unlimited fine. What else is ketamine known as?K, Special K, super K, bump, bump of K, Vitamin K, techno smack, Calvin Klein or CK1 (combination of cocaine and ketamine). What do I need to know if I am planning to take ketamine?If you start to feel unwell, let your friends know and ask them to take care of you. If you feel ill, avoid locking yourself in a toilet cubicle because you might pass out and no one will realise you may need help. It’s difficult to know what a ‘safe dose’ is, therefore start with small doses and see how your body reacts each time. Do not mix K with alcohol or G.