Ketamine is a popular party drug that produces hallucinations. Treating an addiction to Ketamine usually involves therapy, medication, support groups, and lifestyle changes. Read more about the treatment options for you or your loved ones struggling with Ketamine addiction.
Ketamine Half Life
Roughly 90% of all ketamine is removed from the body in the urine. Half life ketamine, or the time it takes 50% of the drug to leave your body, is about 2.5 hours for adults. The full dose of ketamine should be out of your body within 10-12.5 hours. Many who have used Ketamine have wondered, “how long does ketamine last in your system?” Understanding the duration of any medication can help you stay safe from intoxication and adverse drug interactions. Keep reading to learn more about half life of ketamine and its elimination time.
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is part of a drug class referred to as dissociative anesthetics. Other drugs that fall within the same category include dextromethorphan (DXM), nitrous oxide (laughing gas), and Phencyclidine or PCP. Dissociative drugs are believed to disrupt the chemical glutamine at specific brain receptors. Glutamate is a critical chemical for cognition (learning and memory), emotion, and pain perception.
Ketamine is often used to induce or maintain general anesthesia before, during, or after a surgical procedure. Ketamine may be considered effective and safe because, unlike other medications, it does not lead to lower blood pressure or respiratory rate. Ketamine use in the surgical setting does not dictate the need for oxygen, electricity, or highly skilled medical staff, making it an ideal alternative in areas where these services are limited.
How Long Does Ketamine High Last?
Ketamine is popular on the party scene because of its high and dissociative effects. It is easy to get ketamine abuse wrong because of its potency. It’s more potent than speed or coke weight for weight, so it’s easy to overdose accidentally. Ketamine is typically injected or snorted but can be smoked or taken in pill form. The effects of smoking it or swallowing it can be less intense than directly injecting it. In some cases, it’s used as a date rape drug, as it’s colorless and odorless.
How long do the effects of ketamine last? Ketamine produces an abrupt high that lasts for about an hour. It starts around two to five minutes after the dose has been smoked or swallowed. How long does a ketamine high last? A ketamine high happens around 30 seconds after the injection has occurred. The first feeling of the high the user will get is an overwhelming feeling of relaxation, sometimes described as a full-body buzz. The first feeling of the high the user will get is an overwhelming feeling of relaxation, sometimes described as a full-body buzz.
How Long Does Ketamine Last in Your System?
When taken as prescribed, ketamine is an injectable drug that starts acting quickly. If given intravenously, it starts working within seconds; if injected into a muscle, it starts working within four minutes. The effects then last 15 to 30 minutes.
At recommended doses, Ketamine relieves pain and causes sedation. However, when abused or taken at high doses, it causes dissociative effects that distort your perceptions and make you feel outside your environment. When Ketamine is abused, the drug is snorted, smoked, or taken orally. Ketamine is often mixed with illicit drugs like cocaine or ecstasy and has been implicated in sexual assaults. When ketamine is abused, its effects can start within minutes and last anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes.
How long till ketamine leaves your system? Ketamine can stay in different body parts for varying lengths of time. Some features of your body where ketamine can be found include:
- Urine: Ketamine and its breakdown product (metabolites) norketamine can be found in urine. The drug can be detected anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks after the last use, depending on how much ketamine the person takes. Larger doses of ketamine may be found in the urine for longer than in smaller doses.
- Blood: Although ketamine can be detected in blood, blood tests for ketamine are uncommon. However, it takes ketamine about 2.5 hours to move from the bloodstream into the tissues of the body, which likely reflects the time it can be found in the blood.
- Hair: Ketamine can be found in the hair around seven to 10 days after taking the drug. It can then be detected in hair for around 90 days.
- Saliva: Ketamine can be found in saliva for up to 48 hours after it was last taken.
- Breast milk: Ketamine may be found in breast milk, but there is very little data about how much ketamine ends up in milk or how safe it is for a breastfed baby. For this reason, ketamine should be avoided during breastfeeding. If the drug must be used, the baby should be monitored closely for sedation and impact on feeding.
- Ketamine Half Life
- What is Ketamine?
- How Long Does Ketamine High Last?
- How Long Does Ketamine Last in Your System?
- Ketamine Addiction Statistics
- Ketamine Drug Fact Sheet
- How Long Does Ketamine Take to Kick In?
- Why Would You Need A Ketamine Drug Test?
- What Are the Side Effects of Ketamine?
- Long-Term Effects of Ketamine
- Ketamine Dependence
- Ten Signs of a Ketamine High
- 1. Hallucinations
- 2. Helplessness
- 3. Muscle Rigidity
- 4. Sedation
- 5. Agitation Leading to Euphoria
- 6. Amnesia
- 7. Respiratory Depression
- 8. Hypersalivation
- 9. Aggressive Behavior
- 10. Nausea and Vomiting
- Treatment for Ketamine Addiction
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Ketamine Addiction Statistics
In 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved using a nasal spray version of the drug as a fast-acting option for treatment-resistant depression. An increase in recreational use and availability of ketamine in recent years—particularly in 2019, coincided with the drug’s FDA approval for depression. However, despite these increases, its use has remained relatively rare, with less than 1 percent of teens and adults using the drug. The highest prevalence of recreational ketamine use—0.9 percent—was reported in late 2019.
According to the Department of Justice’s National Drug Intelligence Center, individuals aged 12 to 25 accounted for 74% of the Ketamine emergency department visits in the United States in the year 2000
According to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health in the United States, an estimated 2.3 million people aged 12 or older used Ketamine in their lifetimes, with 203,000 users in 2013.
In 2006, the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future survey showed 3% of high school seniors had used the drug at least once that year.
Ketamine Drug Fact Sheet
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic that has some hallucinogenic effects. It distorts perceptions of sight and sound and makes the user feel disconnected and not in control. It is an injectable, short-acting anesthetic for use in humans and animals. It is referred to as a “dissociative anesthetic” because it makes patients feel detached from their pain and
What is its origin?
Ketamine is produced commercially in a number of countries, including the United States. Most of the ketamine illegally distributed in the United States is diverted or stolen from legitimate sources, particularly veterinary clinics, or smuggled into the United States from Mexico. Distribution of ketamine typically occurs among friends and acquaintances, most often at raves, nightclubs, and at private parties; street sales of ketamine are rare.
How is it abused?
Ketamine, along with the other “club drugs,” has become popular among teens and young adults at dance clubs and “raves.” Ketamine is manufactured commercially as a powder or liquid. Powdered ketamine is also formed from pharmaceutical ketamine by evaporating the liquid using hot plates, warming trays, or microwave ovens, a process that results in the formation of crystals, which are then ground into powder.
What are the common street names of Ketamine?
- Common street names include:
- Cat Tranquilizer
- Cat Valium
- Jet K
- Kit Kat
- Special K
- Special La Coke
- Super Acid
- Super K
- Vitamin K
What does it look like?
Ketamine comes in a clear liquid and a white or off-white powder. Powdered ketamine (100 milligrams to 200 milligrams) is typically packaged in small glass vials, small plastic bags, and capsules as well as paper, glassine, or aluminum foil folds. Powdered ketamine is cut into lines known as bumps and snorted, or it is smoked, typically in marijuana or tobacco cigarettes. Liquid ketamine is injected or mixed into drinks. Ketamine is found by itself or often in combination with MDMA, amphetamine, methamphetamine, or cocaine.
What is its effect on the mind?
Ketamine produces hallucinations. It distorts perceptions of sight and sound and makes the user feel disconnected and not in control. A “Special K” trip is touted as better than that of LSD or PCP because its hallucinatory effects are relatively short in duration, lasting approximately 30 to 60 minutes as opposed to several hours.
What is its effect on the body?
A couple of minutes after taking the drug, the user may experience an increase in heart rate and blood pressure that gradually decreases over the next 10 to 20 minutes. Ketamine can make users unresponsive to stimuli.
What is its legal status in the United States?
Since the 1970s, ketamine has been marketed in the United States as an injectable, short-acting anesthetic for use in humans and animals. In 1999, ketamine, including its salts, isomers and salts of isomers, became a Schedule III non-narcotic substance under the Controlled Substances Act. It currently has accepted medical uses for short term sedation and anesthesia. In addition, in 2019, FDA approved the S(+) enantiomer of ketamine (esketamine) nasal spray version (Spravato®) for treatment-resistant depression that is only available at a certified doctor’s office or clinic. Ketamine has the potential for abuse, which may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence
How Long Does Ketamine Take to Kick In?
The exact time it takes for ketamine to kick in depends on the dosage and administration method. There are two different forms of ketamine available – intranasal and oral (pill). They both work similarly, but the intranasal form can be much more powerful. The recommended intranasal dose is 0.5mg per kg of body weight or 1-2 mg for smaller people (60lb / 30kg per person = 1mg). If you weigh 100kg / 220lbs, 2-4mg will get you high.
How long does it take for ketamine to work? It may take five minutes for the effects of this drug to kick in. However, there are no guarantees, as everyone reacts differently to ketamine. Also, remember that your tolerance level will affect how long it takes for ketamine to start working on any given day. Higher doses of Ketamine can produce more intense effects, with users reporting complete and utter detachment from their bodies. The effects are similar to those described by people who have had near-death experiences, and it’s described as being in the “K-hole.”
Why Would You Need A Ketamine Drug Test?
Ketamine drug testing can be done because a person is suspected of engaging in ketamine drug abuse. This may be at the request of your employer, law enforcement, or court order.
The effects of ketamine mean that it can be used as an anesthetic, sedative, or antidepressant. Unfortunately, these effects are why it is often added to drinks as a “date-rape” drug.
Having ketamine at a high enough level in your system can induce a state between intoxication and a coma, commonly referred to as a “k-hole.”
Signs include losing the ability to speak or move quickly, limited awareness of your environment, elevated blood pressure, increased heart rate, and seizures.
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What Are the Side Effects of Ketamine?
There are several side effects of ketamine use that you should know about. These include:
- Drowsiness and dizziness
- Impaired thinking
- Hallucinations and confusion
- Nausea, vomiting (this can be severe)
- Pain at the injection site or other areas where it is taken into the body
- Headaches (can be severe)
Long-Term Effects of Ketamine
Powdered ketamine is often cut with other drugs, so it’s very difficult to tell what the long-term effects can be as interactions can be very unpredictable. Consequently, the long-term effects of ketamine are varied, but they fall into several main areas. As with any anesthetic, ketamine reduces — or even eliminates — pain. It’s difficult for ketamine users to tell whether they’ve injured themselves, so they can end up hurting themselves severely. Some individuals have suffered from broken legs and effectively crippled themselves because they couldn’t tell that something wasn’t right. Walking on a broken leg can result in compound fractures, skin penetration, sepsis, and severe nerve damage.
Once the effects of Ketamine have worn off, users might experience severe abdominal pain. It can also cause thickening of the bladder and urinary tract, forcing some long-term ketamine users to have their bladders surgically removed as the walls are too thick and prevent urine from passing through. Other issues include kidney problems caused by the ketamine’s interaction with the kidneys as it is reduced into its metabolites. Amphetamines should never be mixed with ketamine because they can cause high blood pressure.
Although the “Ketamine high” is pleasant, it can lead to severe dependence. While you can build up a high tolerance to the drug without experiencing withdrawal, if your life revolves around using, you need to seek help. Detox doesn’t have to result in withdrawal symptoms.
If you find that you’re in trouble with the law or bound to lose your job as a result of using ketamine and don’t want to give it up, you may well have an addiction. You might find it’s causing you severe financial difficulties, or you might realize it has resulted in you spending more money than you can afford.
You may also have experienced severe side effects, such as broken bones, but still, be taking Ketamine. Alternatively, you might commit morally or illegally questionable acts because of it. However, it manifests itself; if you have an addiction to ketamine, you need to seek help.
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Ten Signs of a Ketamine High
One of the most overlooked signs of a ketamine high is hallucinations. Ketamine puts the user in a dissociated state, but they will likely experience stimuli that they would not otherwise, including sights and sounds that are not there. Ketamine distorts perceptions of sight and sound and produces feelings of detachment from he environment and self.
One of the riskiest effects of ketamine is the helpless and confused state the user may be put into after using the drug. The confusion will likely be combined with an inability to coordinate their movements, a feeling of numbness, and even helplessness. This is why many individuals give people ketamine without their knowledge, to cause a state in which they will be vulnerable to crime. Especially in the instance of date rape, ketamine is used for this effect.
3. Muscle Rigidity
It is not uncommon for an individual’s muscles to become rigid and their extremities to be challenging to move. It may become hard for a person high on ketamine to move altogether. Hypertonia, also known as muscle rigidity, can be very scary if you are unaware of what is happening to you. If you feel that your muscles have become so stiff that you cannot move quickly, you may have been slipped ketamine by someone else and should get to a safe place immediately. Ask your friends or someone you can trust for help getting out of your place and possibly even to a hospital, depending on your condition.
Sedation may happen in a person who is currently high on ketamine. The person is generally uncommunicative and can be challenging to reach once they are very high on the drug. Ketamine is dangerous because it causes this type of sedation, making it easier for someone high on the drug to become hurt.
5. Agitation Leading to Euphoria
Another strong effect of short-term ketamine use is agitation. When a ketamine user becomes high, they will feel agitated at first. Then, they may become calm, euphoric, or relaxed. The connection between the two signs may not be evident if you are currently going through it. However, ensuring you and your friends understand the signs of a ketamine high is essential to protect yourselves from those who might want to do you harm and use ketamine to do so.
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Amnesia is one of the signs of a ketamine high that is unique to the drug itself. It is also one of the reasons why ketamine is used on unsuspecting drug individuals. The amnesia caused by ketamine use can make a person confused or unsure of what they did or what was done to them while high on ketamine. This is typically a sign that will be more obvious after the ketamine high itself wears off, but it does point to ketamine as opposed to other drugs that may cause similar effects.
7. Respiratory Depression
If a person starts to experience respiratory depression, it is a sign of an exceptionally high dose of ketamine and a threat to the individual’s life. Ketamine can cause respiratory depression as opioids do and can lead to a person’s breathing slowing down to an alarming rate or even stopping altogether. Mixing ketamine with other depressants, like alcohol, valium, or GHB, can lead to serious medical consequences at parties, clubs, and other social gatherings.
Hypersalivation happens when a person produces a large amount of saliva. An individual may drool or increase saliva production, usually as a part of sedation. It will be especially obvious if an individual suddenly begins to drool and may need to be taken to the hospital because they are experiencing a ketamine high.
9. Aggressive Behavior
For ketamine users, ketamine can cause a very negative experience. Aggression and violent behavior may happen, especially in someone who is used to the effects of ketamine, who does drugs often, or who has violent tendencies already. Ketamine may bring about some of these issues and cause a person to become much more aggressive than they would have been otherwise. This usually happens when a person takes lower doses which do not lead them into a state of sedation but rather when confusion happens.
10. Nausea and Vomiting
Like most instances of a drug high, especially for someone who does not realize that they are high on ketamine or is not used to the effects of dissociative drugs, a ketamine high can cause vomiting and nausea. This can be a particular sign of a ketamine high, though, and may be very dangerous in certain circumstances. Someone who vomits while on ketamine may be immobile due to their muscle rigidity and the sedation caused by the drug, which may cause them to choke on their vomit.
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Treatment for Ketamine Addiction
How long does ketamine treatment last? First and foremost, if you think a loved one is abusing ketamine, you should research the drug and its associated addiction to understand better what your loved one needs. Next, you must plan an intervention to provide your loved one with options to battle their addiction in a safe and supportive environment. During this intervention, offer compassion and support instead of judgment. Lastly, show your support throughout the entire Ketamine treatment process.
Clearing ketamine from the body and overcoming ketamine withdrawal symptoms is the goal of medical detox, which is the first step of ketamine addiction treatment for ketamine addiction. Here at We Level Up NJ, a comprehensive team prescribing medications as part of our medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program aims to alleviate your ketamine withdrawal pains while monitoring your health 24 hours during the detox. We prioritize your safety and comfort because this is a fragile and challenging time for you.
Once detox is complete, a new doorway in Ketamine addiction treatment opens up, which is referred to as an inpatient drug rehab or residential level of care. Our residential care program slowly and effectively introduces the individual into an atmosphere of therapeutic growth, marked by master’s level therapists, clinicians, group counselors, psychiatrists, and a community of like-minded individuals with the same aim: to attain sobriety and live a great life.
Some of the many modalities applied and practiced within our residential treatment facility are:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
- 12-Step Groups
- Group Therapy
- Alumni Support Program
- Holistic Therapy
Our Ketamine addiction treatment tailors the program to the individual and the individual to the recovery program. We begin by assessing our client’s history of mental health, drugs, and substance abuse-related past. The needs of each individual are specific and personalized because we aim to provide comprehensive support for mental health, addiction, and dual diagnosis treatment. Our supportive environment is designed accordingly to give clients 24-hour care for sobriety. Most importantly, we hope to have our clients live comfortably within the facility during this crucial and fragile time.
At We Level Up NJ, we prioritize removing the stigma and temptations for relapse and applying an air of recovery into every component of the treatment timeline. We find that clients living in a supportive community, especially during their early recovery process, can genuinely focus on what matters most: their recovery.
Search We Level Up NJ “Ketamine Half Life” Topics & Resources
 Ketamine for the treatment of addiction: Evidence and potential mechanisms – PubMed (nih.gov)
 How ketamine relieves symptoms of depression | National Institutes of Health (NIH)
 On the safety of repeated ketamine infusions for the treatment of depression: Effects of sex and developmental periods – PMC (nih.gov)
 Is Ketamine Addictive? How To Overcome Ketamine Addiction & (welevelup.com)
 Drug Fact Sheet: Ketamine (dea.gov)
 Ketamine: Current applications in anesthesia, pain, and critical care – PMC (nih.gov)
 Drug Abuse Warning Network, 2011: National Estimates of Drug-Related Emergency Department Visits (samhsa.gov)
 Ketamine abuse potential and use disorder – PubMed (nih.gov)
 Ketamine Toxicity – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)
 Brain Changes Associated With Long-Term Ketamine Abuse, A Systematic Review – PMC (nih.gov)