Alere is now Abbott



The main use of ketamine is as a veterinary anaesthetic where it is supplied as an injectable solution. Street sources are mainly from drugs diverted from medical use and therefore tend to be pure. Ketamine is sometimes found in ecstasy tablets mixed with ephedrine.

The use of ketamine has steadily increased since it first appeared in the UK in 1992 and it is principally used in night clubs, all night raves, and music festivals. Within some Asian regions ketamine use is quite high, for example in Hong Kong ketamine users accounted for approximately 31.5% of all drug users in 2012.

At low doses ketamine produces a state of dissociation called the ‘k-hole’ where users may experience a complete loss of bodily awareness and time perception, sensations of floating or falling and euphoria.

At higher doses the anaesthetic effect takes over and numbs the body. When this happens, users can be physically unable to move and for this reason ketamine is sometimes used as a date rape drug.



Taken in tablet form and placed in alcoholic drinks.



Ketamine which has been manufactured for use as a medical anaesthetic is injected in its liquid form.



Smoked in combination with cannabis.



Divided into lines and snorted up the nose.

  • Altered state of consciousness
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Numbness
  • Depression
  • Amnesia
  • Hallucinations
  • Depresses respiratory system
  • Dangerous when mixed with alcohol
  • Collapse
  • Coma
  • Causes severe urological problems
Ketamine liquid and powder


Molecular structure of ketamine

Street Names

special k, K, vitamin k, super k, cat valium, jet, super acid, green, donkey dust

Legal Status

Class B Substance

Possession of the drug can lead to up to five years in jail, an unlimited fine or both. Supplying the drug can lead to up to 14 years in jail, an unlimited fine or both.

For more information about drug classifications and the associated penalties visit the Home Office website.