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by Erowid
1962 American pharmacist Calvin Stevens first synthesizes ketamine in the Parke Davis Lab and names it 'CI581'. Its discovery comes out of the search for PCP replacements. 1  
1963 Ketamine patented in Belgium. 2   [More Info]
1965 Ketamine is discovered to be a useful anaesthetic. 1  
1965 First accounts of the recreational use of Ketamine. Professor Edward Domino described it as a potent psychedelic drug and coins the term 'dissociative anesthetic'. 1  
1966 Ketamine is patented by Parke-Davis for use as an anesthetic in humans and animals. 1  
Late 1960s Ketamine is used as a field anesthetic by the U.S. during the Vietnam War. 1  
1969 Ketamine Hydrochloride becomes available by prescription under the name 'Ketalar'. 3  
Mid 1970s Both recreational and therapeutic use of Ketamine has spread throughout the world. Interest has increased in Britain, Sweden, Russia, and Australia and it is being used in Argentina in regression therapy. 1  
Feb 1977 Foil packets containing 200-300 mg powdered ketamine (some pure, some cut with a dilutant) are seized by police in Tennessee, USA. They report that "the powder is being called PCP or THC on the street". 4  
1978 Ketamine is further popularized by the publication of two books describing personal accounts of its use: 'Journeys Into the Bright World' by Marcia Moore and Howard Alltounian, and 'The Scientist' by John Lilly. 1  
Mar 18, 1981 The DEA filed official notice of its intent to place Ketamine in Schedule III, but chose not to proceed after "determining that the incidence of actual abuse was not sufficient to sustain the scheduling action." 5  
1995 Ketamine is added to the DEA's 'emerging drugs list'. 1  
Apr 9, 1999 The DEA again formally declared its intent to place Ketamine in Schedule III by emergency ruling. There is a 30 day waiting period before they can complete the process. 5  
Aug 12, 1999 Ketamine becomes federally illegal (schedule III) in the U.S. 6  
1987-2000 12 Deaths related to Ketamine (7 in the U.S., and 5 in Europe). Only 3 of these deaths were Ketamine alone. 2   [Details] [More Info]
Dec 6, 2008 Entheogenesis Australis Symposium    [Details] [More Info]
c. 2012 Ketamine begins being used by a few physicians and treatment centers as a depression treatment.    [More Info]
Jul 15, 2020 American Society of Anesthesiologists formally opposes the use of ketamine for law enforcement purposes. 7   [Details]

  1.   Kelly K. The Little Book of Ketamine. Ronin, 1999.
  2.   Report on the Risk Assessment of Ketamine in the Framework of the Join Action on New Synthetic Drugs, by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.
  3.   Grinspoon L, Bakalar JB. Psychedelic Drugs Reconsidered. Lindesmith, 1997.
  4.   DEA. Microgram. Apr 1977;Vol X(4):40. Accessed in Erowid's Microgram archives.
  5.   Federal Register. Vol 64(68): April 9, 1999.
  6.   Federal Register. Vol 64(133): July 13, 1999.
  7.   Editors. "ASA Statement on the Use of Ketamine for a Non-medical Purpose". American Society of Anesthesiologists > News ( July 15, 2020.