Ketamine hydrochloride, or “Special K,” is a powerful hallucinogen widely used as an animal tranquilizer by veterinarians. Users sometimes call the high caused by Special K, “K hole,” and describe profound hallucinations that include visual distortions and a lost sense of time, sense, and identity. The high can last from a half-hour to 2 hours. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reports that overt effects can last an hour but the drug can still affect the body for up to 24 hours.
Use of Special K can result in profound physical and mental problems including delirium, amnesia, impaired motor function and potentially fatal respiratory problems.
Special K is a powder. The drug is usually snorted, but is sometimes sprinkled on tobacco or marijuana and smoked. Special K is frequently used in combination with other drugs, such as ecstasy, heroin or cocaine.
Liquid Ketamine was developed in the early 1960s as an anesthetic for surgeries, and was used on the battlefields of Vietnam as an anesthetic. Powdered Ketamine emerged as a recreational drug in the 1970s, and was known as “Vitamin K” in the 1980s. It resurfaced in the 1990s rave scene as “Special K.”