What is the Effect Known as the “K-hole?

A K-hole is a term used to describe the state of acute intoxication a person experiences when they take too much ketamine. 

Ketamine includes nitrous oxide and phencyclidine (PCP), these drugs separate perception from sensation.

When taken in small doses recreationally, ketamine produces a floaty, euphoric feeling and provides effective pain relief.

When a person takes a large dose of ketamine, the drugs dissociative properties induce a trance-like state of detachment. 

Some people enjoy the effects produced as they feel they melt into their surroundings. Others find the experience terrifying and feel traumatised as a result.

What falling into a k-hole feels like 

A person experiencing the effects of a k-hole will literally feel like they have fallen into a hole where they can only peer out at the outside world, watching as an observer but not being able to interact. They may also experience full-body paralysis as part of k-holes effects.

At the same time, a ketamine k-hole distorts the perception of time, objects and sounds, often causing disorientation, nausea and confusion. 

The dissociative effects can mean that a person can think about moving a limb, see that limb move, but feel detached as if it is not part of them.

Some people describe the effects like a feeling of leaving their physical body and the world behind them, likening it to an ‘out of body experience’ 

The effects of a K-hole

There is no telling how a person will react or feel when they take too much ketamine and fall into a k-hole. The effects can be influenced by a person’s mood at the time of taking the drug, their surroundings, the dosage and whether they mix ketamine with alcohol or other drugs.

Effects include: 

  • Full body paralysis 
  • Vivid auditory and visual hallucinations 
  • Detachment from the physical body 
  • Feeling of floating
  • Physical numbness
  • Confusion
  • Extreme fear
  • Feeling out of control
  • Altered perception of time, space, colours, pain, sound & touch

A person experiencing the effects of a k-hole will often feel trapped as they experience full-body paralysis due to the drug dissociating the brain from the physical body.

 

 

Sources

https://www.healthline.com/health/nitrous-oxide-side-effects

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0897190014525754