There’s a lot of bad info out there about ketamine. Let’s cut through the noise.
It’s just a party drug.”
This is probably the most common misconception about ketamine. Actually, ketamine is the world’s most perfect anesthetic. It’s used every day, all around the world—even on children.
The World Health Organization lists ketamine as an essential medicine.
Ketamine is cheap, safe, and effective at putting people to sleep without negative physiological side effects.
It’s not “just a party drug.”
It’s actually an amazing medicine.
Now, do some people abuse it as a party drug? Sure. But some people sniff glue to get high, too. That doesn’t mean glue isn’t also useful for its intended purpose.
Bottom line, I think we can all agree there are plenty of substances out there that could be used either for good or ill. So we’ll leave this myth at that, shall we?
“No, thanks—I don’t want to fall into a k-hole.”
Ah, the fabled k-hole: aka the dream-like state you can’t get out of when you’ve taken too much ketamine as a party drug.
It may surprise you to hear that a k-hole is exactly where you want to be to solve seriously deep-rooted mental-health troubles like trauma and depression. In fact, many studies demonstrate that the k-hole state is exactly the place where ketamine’s mental-health effects kick in, especially for treatment-resistant depression.
If you’ve heard k-hole horror stories from recreational users of ketamine, I’ll put your mind at ease. Let’s say your intention was to party, but you become so anesthetized by a high dose of ketamine that you’re lying there, paralyzed, trapped by your thoughts, with distorted sensory information coming at you.
Of course that’s going to feel terrible!
(Rest assured: There is no dose taken for mental-health reasons that will anesthetize you to the point where you literally cannot move.)
But if you know ahead of time that you’re going to enter this dreamlike state where the deepest mental-health benefits of ketamine really start, then it won’t be scary. You might even look forward to it.
“Ketamine? You mean the horse tranquilizer?!”
Here we go.
Is ketamine a horse tranquilizer?
The short answer is: Yes.
Veterinarians use ketamine as an anesthetic on horses, cats, dogs, cattle, camels, monkeys, and the countless other animals that vets treat.
For animals as well as humans, ketamine is pretty much the perfect anesthetic because of its strong safety record for respiratory and cardiovascular function.
Does this mean that we should compare the veterinary application of ketamine with its therapeutic application and healing potential in humans? Absolutely not. That would be kind of like saying that we shouldn’t eat apples because horses eat apples, too.
Pretty absurd, right?