EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Customs officials recently seized a shipment of ketamine, a potentially deadly drug often found at raves and dance clubs.
Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic primarily used by veterinary clinics, though it is also for humans.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, ketamine distorts perceptions of sight and sound, and it makes the user feel disconnected and not in control.
Like other “club drugs,” ketamine is taken at raves and dance clubs for its hallucinogenic and sedating effects. However, the drug causes temporary paralysis, and dangerously slows breathing, potentially shutting down body systems and leading to cardiac arrest or respiratory failure. The drug is also linked to date rape.
On the streets, ketamine is called Cat Tranquilizer, Cat Valium, Jet K, Kit Kat, Purple, Special K, Special La Coke, Super Acid, Super K, and Vitamin K.
Ketamine can come in a clear liquid or a white or off-white powder. Liquid ketamine can be injected or mixed into drinks. Powdered ketamine can be snorted or smoked; the Dea says users often lace a cigarette or joint with ketamine.
Though its hallucinatory effects are comparable to LSD and PCP, the DEA says a “Special K trip” is touted as better because it’s relatively short, lasting approximately 30 to 60 minutes instead of several hours.
On Wednesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Louisville intercepted a shipment of bottles containing 15 pounds of ketamine that originated in Germany and was bound for a residence in Queenstown, New Zealand.
The drugs shipped as makeup, but the bottles labeled as Kryolan-brand liquid latex contained a white substance that tested positive for ketamine and had a street value of $100,000.
“The experience and skills of our CBP officers to be able to target and seize this parcel is possibly life-saving,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations-Chicago Field Office. “Our officers and specialists have exceptional training to recognize and intercept a vast array of potentially dangerous or illegal products and remove these dangers from the e-commerce supply chain.”