Career AdviceObtaining Security ClearanceSecurity Clearance Process

Ketamine Use FAQ for Clearance Holders

Ketamine, also known on the street as Cat Valium, Jet K, Special K, Purple, Super K, and a few other colorful names, is a controlled substance approved by the FDA for use as a short-acting anesthetic for use in humans and animals. Veterinary use is the most common. Physicians have also used it to treat their patients for depression, but the side effects can cause more trouble than the treatment is worth. Increased heart rate, dilated pupils, salivation, hallucinations, and unconsciousness are some of the more serious ones. Some patients who have taken it described out of body or near death experiences, others describe themselves as being in an extreme state of infantile bliss where they cannot function at all. As with all Schedule III drugs, Ketamine must be prescribed by a doctor for use to treat a health condition.

Ketamine is increasing in popularity among younger people as a party drug used in low doses to get the hallucinogenic high similar to PCP or LSD, but at a much lower cost. Disturbingly, sexual predators have also used it to incapacitate their targeted victim before committing sexual assault. As older generations start to retire, and younger generations take their place in the cleared workforce, they should be aware that taking drugs like ketamine may seem harmless at the time, but just like cocaine, PCP, and LSD, it is illegal and criminal when you buy it off a street dealer.  A famous clearance holder was recently in the news where it was reported he took micro doses of ketamine for depression. Also reported and corroborated by witnesses, was that he used full doses of it at parties with friends. Obviously the two use cases are different, and would have different results for clearance eligibility.

It remains to be seen if this report has any impact on his security clearance eligibility.

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