Ketamine is often taken for an out-of-body experience. Worryingly, is also used to relax farmyard animals.

It makes you feel as though your mind is detached from your body.

What is it?

Ketamine is a relative of PCP (angel dust), and is used in human and animal medicine as an anaesthetic. Medical ketamine comes as a clear liquid ready for injection, while street ketamine is usually a white crystalline powder, although occasionally it comes as capsules or tablets.

Ketamine is normally snorted through the nose, but it can be swallowed or injected.

Ketamine is mainly in use today as an anaesthetic for farm animals.

How does it make you feel?

People use ketamine to get an out-of-body experience - it makes you feel as though your mind is detached from your body.

Small doses make you feel floaty, dreamy and trippy. Larger doses can give you powerful hallucinations, and you may feel that you have entered another level of consciousness or crossed into another world. It is quite a supernatural feeling, sometimes known as going 'into the K-hole'.

Taking ketamine can give you black outs. You might be unable to move, walk or talk and yet you feel fully awake. This can clearly be very frightening.

The effects of Ketamine wear off in about 3-4 hours, but you may still be left feeling sick and wobbly on your feet.

What are the health effects?

You can easily hurt yourself on Ketamine as you can't feel pain.

Don't mix ketamine with alcohol - that can be especially dangerous.

Ketamine causes very serious bladder problems, with severe pain and difficulty in passing urine.

Injecting ketamine can damage the veins and cause serious problems including abscesses (swollen areas of tissue full of pus) and blood clots.

Regular use can lead to increased tolerance where you need more and more to get the same effect. Eventually it can lead to very serious mental health problems. People have lost touch with reality altogether as a result of this drug.

The law

Ketamine is an illegal Class B drug - having being upgraded from Class C in February 2014. The maximum penalty for possession is now five years in prison and 14 for supply. You can get an unlimited fine for both.

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