Granted not all drugs produce the same results since the drug’s chemical composition reacts differently with our bodies’ natural chemical balance, sometimes the reaction can be more severe in some cases depending on the dosage and individual’s experience with drugs.

Side Effects Of Ketamine

Short-term — Ketamine Side Effects include:

  • Visual disturbances
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Euphoria
  • Sedation
  • Dizziness

The long-term effects of ketamine can include:

  • Memory loss
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Aggression
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Amnesia
  • Impaired learning ability

Long term ketamine use can also lead to dependence. Once an individual develops dependence to a drug it can become extremely difficult to quit the drug and most often users have to go into rehab. Since ketamine doesn’t have any physical dependence, psychological withdrawal symptoms include hallucinations, euphoria, anxiety and depression. In rare case nausea, dizziness and diarrhea occur when a user abruptly stops taking ketamine.

One of the other effects of long term ketamine use is cognitive deficits. In a study published in 2009 edition of Addiction, researchers found that increasing ketamine over a year, caused decreased brain functionality, spatial memory loss and pattern recognition lapse. However, once ketamine use stopped, the effects seemed reversible, hence new users can experience the drug, if they are responsible, and do not have to face the negative consequences.

Key Facts About Ketamine Effects

  • The 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reports a rate of 0.1% for people aged 12 or older with the highest rate (0.2%) in those ages 18-25
  • An estimated 2.3 million persons aged 12 or older used ketamine in their lifetime, and 203,000 were past year users
  • Use of ketamine was reported by 1.0 percent of 8th-graders, 1.3 percent of 10th-graders, and 1.7 percent of 12th-graders in 2009. These percentages also represent significant decreases from peak years: 2000 for 8th-graders (at 1.6 percent) and 2002 for 10th- and 12th-graders (at 2.2 and 2.6 percent, respectively)
  • Statistics from the CRDA show that the number of ketamine users (all ages) in Hong Kong has increased from 1605 (9.8% of total drug users) in 2000 to 5212 (37.6%) in 2009. Increasing trends of ketamine use among illicit drug users under the age of 21 were also reported, rising from 36.9% of young drug users in 2000 to 84.3% in 2009

These stats add to the growing trend of drug use in kids and adolescents. Environmental factors such as community, peer group and school and family environment plays the most significant role in tempting individuals to try drugs.

Among the environmental factors, home and family environment play a significant role, especially during childhood. Parents or older siblings who are involved in drugs either by selling or partaking increase risk for drug abuse.

Friends and peers can have an increasingly strong influence during adolescence. Friends who are involved in drugs can put pressure on individuals even those without risk factors to try drugs for the first time. So, in order to look cool or to feel a sense of belonging people can start experimenting with drugs which could lead to addiction.

Due to social media dominating most of our lives and teens sharing almost of their personal information online, kids and adolescents are more vulnerable to drugs. Researchers have found that these increased odds of substance abuse can be linked to the fact that teens who use social media websites are more exposed to pictures of people indulging in drug or alcohol use, hence they are more likely to be influenced by such pictures and eventually experiment with drugs and alcohol.