Ketamina: Nuevas observaciones sobre su consumo, consumidores y efectos

Karl L.R. Jansen, Lynn Theron


La ketamina es un anestésico disociativo que continúa siendo muy aceptado tanto en la medicina humana como veterinaria. Sin embargo, la ketamina tiene también importantes propiedades alucinógenas, psicodélicas y estimulantes que han hecho aumentar su consumo para fines no médicos en los últimos veinte años. La droga afecta a distintos sistemas del cerebro, como por ejemplo, los de glutamato, dopamina (con efectos muy similares a la cocaína, incluyendo el bloqueo de la recaptación de dopamina), serotonina, opioides, noradrenalina y cortisol, entre otros. En términos generales, los consumidores se dividen en dos grupos: trabajadores o personas allegadas a centros hospitalarios y veterinarios que tienen acceso a la droga y suelen inyectarse el líquido, con efectos sobre todo psicodélicos, e individuos vinculados principalmente al mundo de la cultura “dance” que consumen ketamina por vía intranasal, en forma de polvos, con efectos más estimulantes. Este artículo analiza la historia de la ketamina desde su invención en 1962, los efectos por los que se consume fuera del contexto médico, incluyendo la reproducción de la experiencia de la cercanía de la muerte, el modo en que estos efectos pueden aparecer, la neurociencia de la ketamina, la naturaleza de las poblaciones consumidoras de dicha droga, y los efectos negativos, tanto psicológicos como físicos, que pueden derivarse de su consumo, incluyendo el problema cada vez mayor de la adicción a la ketamina.

Palabras clave

Ketamina; receptores NMDA (Nmethyl- D-aspartate); experiencia de la cercanía de la muerte (NDE); glutamato; fenciclidina (PCP); psicodélico; esquizofrenia

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