Ketamine Drug Testing

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is one of the commonly abused drugs in the country. Medically, it is used as a powerful, general anaesthetic. Normally, the effects of ketamine last for a short time. However, during this time, the drug causes paralysis to the muscles and total loss of feeling. People that normally abuse ketamine do so because:

  1. The drug helps you relax and give a sensation of floating away, like body and mind have been separated.
  2. Causes an inability to move or gives a near death experience; what is normally referred to as the K-hole.
  3. Hallucinations; the drug normally interferes with the way you see, hear and process information. Once you take the drug, you can be ‘in the zone’ for hours before normal brain functions resume.


When used in the operating room, ketamine is normally an injectable liquid. However, street ketamine is a crystalline white powder. People that use ketamine do so by sniffing it like cocaine or speed. A gram of ketamine sells at a cost of 20 pounds on average.

How Ketamine Works In The Brain

Ketamine’s effects stem from its impact on the brain’s glutamate system. Unlike other anaesthetics, it doesn’t just dull pain—it creates a dissociative state by disrupting communication between brain regions.

Here’s what happens when you take ketamine:

  1. It blocks NMDA receptors, which normally respond to glutamate.
  2. This disruption alters your perception of sight, sound, and even your own body.
  3. It also impacts other neurotransmitter systems, including dopamine and serotonin.

The result? A trippy, out-of-body experience that users describe as “entering the K-hole.” But it’s not all fun and games. Ketamine’s brain-altering effects can linger, potentially causing long-term cognitive issues with repeated use.

Interestingly, researchers are exploring ketamine’s potential to treat depression and PTSD. In controlled medical settings, its ability to “reset” brain circuits shows promise. But street use remains risky and unpredictable.

The Side Effects Of Ketamine

When abused, ketamine is very dangerous. Due to the fact that it is a general anaesthetic, it makes the users feel sedated, relaxed and as if they are floating away. Here, are some of the other side effects of ketamine.

  • Ketamine causes hallucinations. People that take the drug normally go on trips that last for several hours. During this time, the person will see things that do not really exist. There are both good and bad trips when one takes ketamine.
  • It causes serious bladder problems. There are instances where abusers have had to have surgical removal of the bladder as a result of ketamine abuse.
  • It makes people feel sedated, and very relaxed. The drug works by relaxing the body and paralysing the muscles.
  • Due to the fact that the drug leads to loss of feeling to the muscles, it is very easy to hurt yourself when using ketamine. People that abuse the drug normally get seriously injured because they don’t feel any pain.
  • If a person is taking ketamine on a regular basis and they have mental health issues, the drug worsens the problem. It leads to depression, panic attacks and confusion.

Why It Is Risky To Take Ketamine

As mentioned above, abusing ketamine can lead to some really serious health issues. Here, are some of the dangers of ketamine abuse:

  • If used together with alcohol or opiates, it will affect the way you breathe and the result will be impaired breathing an irregular heartbeat. An overdose can easily lead to death.
  • When used with ecstasy, it leads to high blood pressure.
  • Injecting the drug leads to swellings that are full of pus. It can also lead to HIV infection if needles are shared.

Ketamine And The Law

It is illegal to own, sell or give away ketamine to another person.

  1. If found in possession of the drug; you can get up to 2 years in prison.
  2. Supplying another person with the drug can land you a 14 year jail term.
  3. Another implication of taking the drug is that once convicted, you can miss out on certain jobs and lose the freedom to visit some countries.
  4. You are supposed to report if anyone close to you is abusing ketamine.

Drug testing kits for ketamine are available. The most common way of testing for ketamine is by using urine drug screen test such as the Zoom Testing single drug test kit for ketamine.

Photo by DEA

Zoom Testing is a leading UK drug testing company and a supplier of Drug Test Kits.

This post was originally published in January 2015. It was last updated in July 2024.

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