Jump to content


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

K-hole is the feeling of getting a high enough dose of ketamine to experience a state of dissociation. This intense detachment from reality is often a consequence of accidental overconsumption of ketamine; however, some users consciously seek out the k-hole as they find the powerful dissociative effects to be quite pleasurable and enlightening. Regardless of the subjective experiences of k-holing, there are many psychological and physical risks associated with such high levels of ketamine consumption.[1]

Recreational usage[edit]

Ketamine is an NMDA receptor antagonist, developed in the 1960s to induce anesthesia in patients but recreational users have found great appeal in its antidepressant, dissociative and hallucinatory effects that are characteristic of the k-hole experience.[2] Whereas the common recreational dose of ketamine is roughly 30–75 mg, a dose of more than 150 mg is required to enter the k-hole.[3]


The experience of k-hole varies greatly for each individual. The intensity and length are influenced by the users' current mental state, previous experience and drug dosage.[4] Ketamine induces dose-related effects that include distortion of time and space, hallucinations and mild dissociative effects. During k-hole, users experience an enhanced detachment from the environment, resulting in an inability to respond to surroundings and move their bodies functionally.[5] During these states, perception seems to lie deep within consciousness so that the reality of the "outside" world appears to reside in the distance. A high number of recreational users report that the most appealing effects of this experience are "melting into surroundings", "visual hallucinations", "out of body experience" and "giggliness".[2] By contrast, the least frequent and most negative effects include near-death experiences, astral travel and alien phenomena.[4] Physical health problems, like the so-called "K-cramps" and gastric pain, and unappealing mental side-effects, like "memory loss" and "decreased sociability" are also reported post-k-hole.[2]

Despite its addictive risks, ketamine is considered by many to be "harmless" and thus a "drug of choice".[4] Recreational users seem to be in discord about the k-hole. Many individuals describe it as a fascinating life-changing experience and a spiritual journey resulting in some form of spiritual realization. They state that this experience provided clairvoyance and assisted them to get through mental disorders like depression and social anxiety.[6] About half of the recreational users describe the k-hole as a positive experience, as it provides "a short escape from their daily problems".[4] Even though some people seem to enjoy and actively look for the k-hole, for many it is still an unwanted side effect of an overdose of ketamine.[4]


Frequent k-hole experiences can also result in episodic and semantic memory impairments.[7] Depending on how long this state lasts, hallucinations and symptoms of psychosis can develop.[8] The k-hole experience can produce physical risks. For instance, bladder damage can be an indication of ketamine-induced (ulcerative) interstitial cystitis.[9][10]


  1. ^ Wood, Dan; Cottrell, Angela; Baker, Simon C.; Southgate, Jennifer; Harris, Maya; Fulford, Simon; Woodhouse, Christopher; Gillatt, David (June 2011). "Recreational ketamine: from pleasure to pain: RECREATIONAL KETAMINE". BJU International. 107 (12): 1881–1884. doi:10.1111/j.1464-410X.2010.10031.x. PMID 21314885. S2CID 44450934.
  2. ^ a b c Muetzelfeldt, L.; Kamboj, S. K.; Rees, H.; Taylor, J.; Morgan, C. J. A.; Curran, H. V. (2008-06-01). "Journey through the K-hole: Phenomenological aspects of ketamine use". Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 95 (3): 219–229. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2008.01.024. ISSN 0376-8716. PMID 18355990.
  3. ^ "Ketamine". Bristol Drug Project. Retrieved 2022-05-17.
  4. ^ a b c d e Stirling, John; McCoy, Lauren (December 2010). "Quantifying the psychological effects of ketamine: from euphoria to the k-hole". Substance Use & Misuse. 45 (14): 2428–2443. doi:10.3109/10826081003793912. ISSN 1532-2491. PMID 21039109. S2CID 207520095.
  5. ^ Rosenbaum, Steven B.; Gupta, Vikas; Palacios, Jorge L. (2022), "Ketamine", StatPearls, Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing, PMID 29262083, retrieved 2022-05-17
  6. ^ "We Asked People About the K-Holes That Changed Their Lives". www.vice.com. Retrieved 2022-05-17.
  7. ^ Curran, H V; Monaghan, L (2001-05-01). "In and out of the K-hole: a comparison of the acute and residual effects of ketamine in frequent and infrequent ketamine users". Addiction. 96 (5): 749–760. doi:10.1046/j.1360-0443.2001.96574910.x. ISSN 1360-0443. PMID 11331033.
  8. ^ Zuccoli, M. L.; Muscella, A.; Fucile, C.; Carrozzino, R.; Mattioli, F.; Martelli, A.; Orengo, S. (August 2014). "Paliperidone for the Treatment of Ketamine-Induced Psychosis: A Case Report". The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine. 48 (2): 103–108. doi:10.2190/PM.48.2.c. ISSN 0091-2174. PMID 25377151. S2CID 37137378.
  9. ^ "British Library". www.bl.uk. Retrieved 2022-05-17.
  10. ^ Morgan, Celia J. A.; Curran, H. Valerie; Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (January 2012). "Ketamine use: a review". Addiction. 107 (1): 27–38. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03576.x. ISSN 1360-0443. PMID 21777321.