In social situations, ketamine is often used intranasally and orally. And though it can be injected, the rapid onset of effects from oral or nasal use makes it more convenient and marketable than the injectable forms.(1) It is primarily manufactured as an injectable liquid, however, so illicit producers must evaporate the liquid to form a powder that can be snorted or compressed into pills.(2) Each method of ingestion varies in the amount of time it takes to produce affects in the user: injection generally takes between 1 and 5 minutes; snorted ketamine between 5 and 15 minutes; and oral ingestion between 5 and 30 minutes. The hallucinatory effects of ketamine last approximately one hour or less, but the user’s senses, judgment, and coordination may be affected for up to 24 hours following initial use.(3)
(1) Dotson, J.W., Ackerman, D.L., and West, L.J. (1995). “Ketamine Abuse.” Journal of Drug Issues 25: 751-757.
(2) National Institute on Drug Abuse.
(3) Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Club Drugs: MDMA/Ecstasy, Rohypnol, GHB, Ketamine.” Retrieved February 21, 2003, http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/drugfact/club/index.html