What is ketamine? Learning about it’s Uses, Risks, and Safety Concerns

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What is ketamine? After the well-known actor Matthew Perry passed away tragically, it was discovered through his autopsy that ketamine was involved. This finding has sparked a lot of interest and concern about this substance. In this detailed investigation, we will delve into the details of ketamine—where it comes from, what it is used for, and the ongoing discussions about its safety.

What is ketamine?

Ketamine was first used to anesthetize animals in the 1960s. Afterward, it received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for use in humans. The US Drug Enforcement Administration categorizes ketamine as a “dissociative anesthetic hallucinogen.” It makes you feel separated from pain and your surroundings.

Evolution of Ketamine’s Use

Ketamine was first used as an anesthetic, but it is now being explored for its potential in treating depression and other mental health disorders. People who don’t respond to typical treatments are finding relief with ketamine, which makes it a significant alternative option.

Consumption Methods

Patients who want mental health benefits usually take ketamine in different ways, like via IV, nasal spray, or tablet, for six to eight weeks. But recreational users often snort the powder, inject it, or smoke it. Knowing how ketamine is taken helps us understand the risks involved.

Effects of Ketamine

The New York Times talked to 40 people who used ketamine as a treatment. They found interesting things about how the drug affects them. The people said that it’s like pressing a reset button for their brain. They also mentioned that they saw nice things in their mind and felt like they were separate from their body while using ketamine. This drug affects different parts of the brain than regular antidepressants, which makes it special for therapy.

When you take a lot of ketamine, its pain-blocking effects get stronger, and you might enter a state called the ‘k-hole.’ This can make it hard to move, cause numbness, and make you see things that aren’t there. These different effects make us wonder about the right balance between using ketamine as medicine and the risks it may have.

Safety Concerns

Determining if ketamine is safe to use is difficult. Some medical experts say it’s safe when used carefully for medical reasons, but there are worries about addiction and using high doses for a long time causing serious damage to the bladder. The fact that there hasn’t been much research on using ketamine for a long time makes it even more uncertain.


Ultimately, understanding ketamine requires a careful and detailed approach. This drug has transformed from being used on animals as an anesthetic to potentially treating mental health conditions. It is crucial to find a balance between exploring its therapeutic benefits and addressing the risks involved. The unfortunate situation with Matthew Perry highlights the importance of thoroughly researching and using substances like ketamine responsibly.

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