The purpose of this report is to examine and explore the effects that ketamine has on the brain and therefore mental and physical health. Mental and physical health are a vital part of life to function and to live to a standard that is classified to be healthy. When ketamine is used, it affects your mental and physical health drastically. Mental health is defined as one’s social, psychological and emotional wellbeing. Ketamine can cause a number of mental illnesses such as depression and severe anxiety. This can lead to becoming socially withdrawn from family and friends. One’s physical health is also affected when ketamine is used. Ketamine can interfere with organs such as your bladder, lungs and heart. Ketamine is also well known for causing a disease known as gangrene which can result in loss of limbs and dead skin tissue. Mental and physical health are important to one so that they can sustain a well balanced level of health.

This report will start by looking at what ketamine is and how it is made as well as what is in the drug and some of the effects it has on the body. It well them explain the effects that ketamine has on one’s mental and physical health.


The production of ketamine takes approximately 11 complicated and difficult steps to produce from scratch. One way of synthesising ketamine is by reacting methyl ketimine in undecane and boiling it at a high temperature for a number of hours.the substance is then extracted into ketamine. The acidic extract is then neutralised and extracted with dichloromethane. The solvent is removed giving the product as an oil which swiftly crystallises.

Figure 1: ketamines final solid form. Ketamine Structural formula. Retrieved from
Ketamine’s chemical formula is C13H16ClNO. Figure 1 shows that there is to rings to ketamine. It has 1 chloro functional group that is branching of an aromatic ring. It has a double bond to and oxygen. It also has a single bond to nitrogen and then a methyl group.

Ketamine comes in three main forms; powder, tablet and liquid. The most common way that ketamine comes in is in a white powder form which is taken by snorting. Ketamine has a very similar appearance to cocaine but is a lot more smoother. It does not possess a distinct smell. Ketamine is freely soluble in water an methanol and is insoluble in acetone.  Ketamines melting point is at 93℃ and has a mass of approximately 237.7 g/mol.

When ketamine is snorted, it goes to the back of the throat and is absorbed into the bloodstream. When taken in pill form, it is absorbed by the stomach's lining. When injected, ketamine is transferred straight into the bloodstream. Injecting ketamine can damage veins which can cause gangrene therefore loss of toes and fingers. 

Ketamines main purpose, when used legally, is to block pain sensations in either people or animals. Ketamine is commonly used amongst veterinarians when an animal is to be put in an unconscious state. 

Ketamine has many side effects, some minor short term and possibly devastating long term effects. Short term side effects include hallucinations and a “buzz” feeling which, if not careful, can lead to broken bones due to loss of sensation. When taken at a high dosage, ketamine can cause unconsciousness, high pain threshold and immobility. When Ketamine is taken at a high and regular dosage it has a major effect on the body’s bladder. This can lead to ketamine bladder syndrome. This causes blood to be present in urine, loss of control over sphincter muscle in the bladder and less urine in bladder.

When ketamine is taken, the body’s ability to function is interfered with. Ketamine is effectively used for blocking pain receptors inside the body. Glutamate is the body’s most abundant free amino acid. It is usually produced by muscle tissue and is used to fuel a number of your body’s most high-energy functions. Glutamine, which is a vital neurotransmitter chemical, helps regulate information processing and overall communications between the various sectors and regions of the body and brain. Ketamine effectively blocks the production of glutamate inside the body and essentially shuts off the communications between the body and the brain. These chemical interactions produce the anesthetizing effects the users of ketamine experience. These effects can take place in the body within minutes of being injected or snorted.


Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how a person may think, feel or/and act. Mental health also comes along with mental illnesses with depression and anxiety being the most common illnesses. Ketamine can have major effects on a person's mental health. Some effects after taking a regular dosage include flashbacks, mood and personality changes, depression, problems with memory and concentration, psychosis and psychological dependence. These mental health examples can have a dramatic affect on friends and family members. Mental health issues such as mood swings and depression come into play and can affect a person's interactions with others. The results of these changes in behavior also change your brain. Ketamine interferes with the chemicals in your brain and affects the messages the chemicals are trying to send. Panic attacks and severe anxiety can occur when ketamine is taken. With a chance of losing your personal identity and sense of reality, the effect that it will have on your friends and family would be significant. Becoming socially withdrawn is also common and could lead to another mental health issue.

Physical health can be defined by sustaining a healthy diet and fitness routine. This can include eating fruit, protein and a various of vitamins daily as well as performing a sport regularly or some kind of fitness activity. When ketamine is regularly taken, it can have a major affect on your physical health. Ketamine can have an affect on your central nervous system but can greatly affect the respiratory system which consists of the airway and lungs and the cardiovascular system which consists of the heart. After prolonged use of this drug, it can slow down the functions of these two systems. Possessing a slow respiratory and cardiovascular system could affect the amount of oxygen that travels around the body to each organs as well as getting rid of carbon dioxide. A build up or carbon dioxide in one organ whilst it is not receiving enough oxygen could cause permanent damage to the organ. Injecting ketamine into the vein directly can cause a number of issues such as infections around the wound and in some cases gangrene. Gangrene is dead skin tissue that is caused by infection and/or lack of blood flow. All examples, if not treated properly are likely to lead to serious illness or death


Ketamines production process is a difficult 11 step process to make from scratch. Some steps include boiling the substance at a very high temperature for a number of hours. Ketamines structure consists of two rings one of which is an aromatic ring. Ketamine comes in three main forms. It can be taken by pill, injection and by snorting it and is then absorbed into the bloodstream. Ketamine can be used recreationally to obtain a “buzz” feeling or it can be used medically to block pain receptors on the brain. Ketamine interferes with the bladder causing urinary problems.  Ketamine blocks the production of glutamine which is the body’s production of amino acids which fuels the body's high level energy functions. 

Mental health is described as one’s social, psychological and emotional wellbeing. When ketamine is taken, it can cause a number on mental health problems such as depression and severe anxiety. It can also cause someone to become socially withdrawn from friends and family. Ketamine can affect one’s physical health by slowing down to respiratory system and cardiovascular system. When this happens, a buildup of carbon dioxide can linger in the bloodstream and can damage organs permanently when not enough oxygen reaches the organs. Ketamine can also cause a disease called gangrene with is dead skin tissue caused by infection and/or lack of blood flow.

Ketamine has a major effect on the brain. If affects one’s mental and physical health and wellbeing as well as basic interactions and relationships. Therefore, ketamine has a significant effect on a person's mental and physical health

Public Education Piece

For my public education piece i designed a brochure to present and educate to the public about the drug, ketamine.


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