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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); Office of the Surgeon General (US). Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health [Internet]. Washington (DC): US Department of Health and Human Services; 2016 Nov.

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Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health [Internet].

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A dissociative drug, hallucinogen, which causes the user to feel detached from reality.i
Common Commercial NamesStreet NamesCommon FormsCommon Ways TakenDEA Schedule / Legal Status
KetalarCat Valium, K, Special K, Vitamin KLiquid, white powderInjected , snorted, smoked (powder added to tobacco or marijuana cigarettes), ingestedSchedule III / Legal by prescription only
Uses & Possible Health Effectsii
Short-term Symptoms of UseProblems with attention, learning, and memory; dreamlike states, hallucinations; sedation; confusion and problems speaking; memory loss; stiffening of the muscles and numbness; problems moving, to the point of being immobile; increased blood pressure; nausea; unconsciousness; slowed breathing (respiratory depression) that can lead to death.
Long-term Consequences of Use and Health EffectsUlcers and pain in the bladder; kidney problems; stomach pain; depression; flashbacks; and poor memory.
Other Health-related IssuesSometimes used as a date rape drug.
Risk of HIV, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases from shared needles.
In Combination with AlcoholIncreased risk of adverse effects.
Withdrawal SymptomsUnknown.
Medical UseUsed as an anesthetic agent.
Treatment Optionsiii
MedicationsThere are no FDA-approved medications to treat addiction to ketamine or other dissociative drugs.
Behavioral TherapiesMore research is needed to determine if behavioral therapies can be used to treat addiction to dissociative drugs.
Statistics as of 2015iv
PrevalenceLifetime: 3.0 million persons (1.1%) aged 12 or older have used ketamine in their lifetime.
Past Year: Data not collected.
Average Age of InitiationHallucinogens in general: 19.6

Source: NIDA, (2016).


Sources: NIDA, (2016) & DEA, (2015).


Source: NIDA, (2016).


Source: CBHSQ, (2016).


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