Dissociative anesthetic drugs
Dissociative anesthetic drugs are a category of hallucinogens that were originally used for medical purposes in the early to mid-1900s to anesthetize patients during procedures and surgeries. Ketamine and phencyclidine (PCP) are the main dissociative drugs that are abused as street drugs today. Dextromethorphan (DXM) is another dissociative drug that is used in over-the-counter cough suppressants and is often abused by adolescents.
The term “dissociative” refers to the dissociation of brainstem functions from higher cortical areas, which are responsible for altering pain sensations and other stimuli during medical procedures. This dissociation is known to cause brief amnesia; hence, patients do not remember what specifically occurred during their surgery or procedure.
Ketamine is a tranquilizer, analgesic and dissociative anesthetic commonly used in surgeries and procedures for adults, humans and animals. It blocks the neurotransmitter glutamate at its receptor, resulting in a trance-like dissociative state. It replaced the medical use of PCP in the 1960s and was originally used to induce anesthesia in soldiers undergoing procedures on the battlefield during the Vietnam War.
Ketamine is still widely used in human and veterinary medicine today. The Drug Enforcement Agency classifies ketamine as a Schedule III drug, and it is commonly used as a street drug, as it can be synthetically produced in a laboratory. Ketamine is commonly used among partygoers and clubbers. Street names include special K, vitamin K, kit kat, cat Valium and many others.
Ketamine is odorless and tasteless and is available as a clear liquid or a white crystalline powder. The liquid form is injected and mixed into drinks. Due to its amnesia effects, this drug is used as a “date rape” drug, because sexual predators slip it into their victims’ drinks to render them unconscious. The powdered form can be snorted, compressed into pills or used for intravenous injection when dissolved. Ketamine is difficult to manufacture and, as a result, is commonly isolated from pharmaceutical drugs used for human or veterinary use. It is commonly imported from Mexico. Due to the potential physical and mental harm caused by ketamine use, ketamine addiction treatment can be vital to help someone regain their life.