What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is used in medicine as an anaesthetic for humans and animals. Doctors and vets use this drug because it produces pain relief and amnesia. It is considered a safer alternative to general anaesthetic for some people (e.g. older people and children) as it does not slow down a person’s breathing or heart rate.

Why do People take Ketamine?

Ketamine is a dissociative drug. It produces a feeling of detachment from one’s body and the external world. It does this by reducing or blocking signals to the conscious mind from other parts of the brain, such as the senses – sight, sound, taste, touch and smell.

Is it Legal?

Ketamine is classified as a Class B drug. This means it is illegal to possess, use or supply someone with the drug. Possession of Ketamine can result in a prison sentence of up to 5 years, or an unlimited fine. A conviction for supplying Ketamine can result in a prison sentence of up to 14 years, or an unlimited fine.

What are the Effects of Ketamine?

Ketamine is a general anaesthetic that reduces sensations in the body which can make users feel dream-like and detached, chilled, relaxed and happy, but also confused and nauseated. Ketamine can alter perception of time and space and cause hallucinations.

What are the Risks of using Ketamine?

Ketamine use can lead to various physical health problems, including problems with your bladder and urinary tract, stomach and abdominal problems, and heart complications. Long term use may result in long-term damage to the bladder and kidneys.

Ketamine’s impact on mental health is significant, often leading to depression, anxiety, and thought issues. In really bad cases, it can contribute to hallucinations and psychosis, further worsening the risk of self-harm or harm to others.

Where can I get Help?

For support and advice speak to your GP or contact  the Wirral Response Service (13-19yrs)  0151 6664123  [email protected]

Wirral Ways is a free and confidential drug and alcohol service for adults 0151 5561335 [email protected]

Resources and Posters

Due to the recent concerning rise in the use of ketamine in Wirral, our young person’s platform ZILLO has produced further advice on ketamine addiction

For more information about the effects of ketamine visit 


If you would like to learn more about Ketamine we have live training sessions or a narrated PowerPoint available, all of which can be accessed via our spotlight sessions page.


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