Ketamine is a hallucinogenic dissociative and anaesthetic that is used in both humans and animals for medical purposes. It was synthesised in 1962, and used in anaesthesia as an alternative to phencyclidine (PCP) which caused powerful, long lasting hallucinations and psychotic symptoms. Today it is often used as an anaesthetic in children or those undergoing minor surgery. It is most frequently used now in veterinary medicine. It is on the World Health Organisation’s list of essential medicines.
In low doses, users report a similar feeling to being drunk. Higher doses cause a much more dissociative or psychedelic effect. When used as a medicine, ketamine is a clear liquid. “Street” ketamine is usually a white powder; with a grainy appearance like salt, or flaky like tiny glass shards.