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What Does Ketamine Look Like?

Ketamine drugs with a plastic straw on a black table.  

Ketamine is a dangerous drug that is often used by teens during parties or for other recreational uses. This drug is abused because of the hallucinations and disconnection from reality that it can cause. Ketamine can lead to dangerous side effects that include a lower rate of breathing and, in some cases, death. Because ketamine can have dangerous effects, it is important for parents to be able to tell if their teen is using ketamine.

Types of Ketamine

Ketamine does have medical uses and is available for these medical uses as a clear liquid or as a white or off-white powder. The most common forms of ketamine include:

  • Liquid ketamine: Ketamine comes as a clear liquid which is ketamine powder dissolved in a water solution. Liquid ketamine is injected into a muscle or vein in the medical setting. Liquid ketamine is also used in ketamine nasal spray for medical reasons.
  • Ketamine powder: Ketamine may come as a powder that is white or off-white in color. This powder is mixed with water so that the ketamine can be injected. Ketamine crystals or powder can also be made from liquid ketamine so that it can be used as a recreational drug and be snorted or ingested.
  • Ketamine pills: Ketamine is not used medically in pill form. Ketamine is only used as a pill when the powder is put in a capsule and used as a recreational drug.

Because ketamine is typically present as a white powder or clear liquid, it can be difficult to tell if a substance is ketamine without having it tested. Any white power, vial of liquid, or pill that is not clearly labeled and in its original packaging may be ketamine or another street drug.

Ketamine Storage & Paraphernalia

There are several different ways that ketamine may be stored, depending upon the form it is in and how it will be used. Some of the ways used to store ketamine may include:

  • Glass vials, either as a liquid or a powder
  • Capsules, especially not in a pill container or in a pill container that has a different pill than the picture on the label
  • Small plastic bags as a powder
  • Folded paper or foil

One of the signs your teenager is doing drugs may also include paraphernalia. If they are snorting ketamine, this could include straws that do not appear intended for use in drinks, rolled up dollar bills or other similar items. Empty capsules could be a sign that your teenager is going to fill them with ketamine. Syringes, vials, needles or tourniquets may indicate that your teen is intending to inject ketamine or another drug. Empty plastic bags or folded foil, or anything with a white powder residue may also indicate that ketamine has been stored or used.

If you suspect your teen is using ketamine, then you should seek professional help for them as soon as possible. Next Generation Village has a strong record of helping teens with drug addictions to achieve and maintain sobriety. Reach out to one of our understanding team members to learn how your teen can start on their path to recovery today.

Medical Disclaimer: Next Generation Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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