Ask Erowid

Ask a Question


Find an answer:

View By Category

Search Ask Erowid
Search Vaults


Enter a keyword in the search field above to look up a question or answer on a specific topic.

Off-Site Psychoactive Question Resources
  Ask Dr Shulgin

Resources at Erowid
  Plants & Drugs
  Freedom & Law
  Mind & Spirit
  Arts & Sciences
  Library / Bookstore
  What's New
  About Erowid
  .
Q: Which is worse for your body, ketamine or cocaine?

A: This is actual a very complex question. It depends on several factors, primarily ingestion route, frequency of use, and purity of material.



With identical ingestion routes, both drugs have a similar set of risks. Snorting risks damage to intranasal mucous membranes, smoking/freebasing risks damage to lung and throat, and IV/IM risks infection, collapsed blood vessels, and AIDS.



With frequent use, it seems that Cocaine has a higher risk of psychological addiction, however there are certainly many reports of people becoming addicted to ketamine as well.



As for purity of material, most ketamine is made to be pharmaceutically pure (at least for animals) and is then diverted to the recreational market. Cocaine on the other hand is primarily manufactured in clandestine drug laboratories, so it is harder to know just what is included in it when you get it. It may have residual solvents or other chemicals from the manufacturing process, and at least at this point, is more likely to be cut with other material. It is possible that such impurities are toxic of their own accord.



From a toxicological standpoint, Cocaine is known for causing cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks. This is a practical concern when it is used recreationally as it doesn't take habitual use for this to be a problem. On the other hand, it has been suggested that Ketamine may cause a type of lesion (Olney's lesions) in a particular area of the brain (as do other disassociatives, such as PCP and DXM). And, as an anesthetic, it is a practical concern that an individual using Ketamine recreationally might vomit (not uncommon) while anesthetized and choke to death.



So as I said at the beginning, this is an interesting and complex question. Both substances have risks associated with their use. Before choosing to take any psychoactive the risks should be carefully weighed.



aloha

-psilo-

Asked By : masa
Answered By : psilo
Published Date : 12 / 8 / 2000
Last Edited Date : 12 / 8 / 2000
Question ID : 230

Categories: [ Ketamine ] [ Cocaine ] [ Health ]



Ask Erowid v1.7 - Jul, 2005

(content and html © the Vaults of Erowid. Please ask permission before publicly reproducing.)