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    ketamina ECM experiencias cercanas muerte ketamine near-death experiences ICEERS study

    Near-Death Experiences with Ketamine


    Near-death experiences and post-traumatic symptomatology in a sample of ketamine users

    Daniel F. Jiménez Garrido, Miguel Ángel Alcåzar Córcoles, and José Carlos Bouso.

    Journal of Transpersonal Research



    About the study

    This article presents the results of a study that explores the relationship between ketamine use and its possible induction of near-death experiences, due to its ability to positively transform many people who experience them.

    This study aimed to obtain preliminary evidence about the possible relationship, in the realm of subjective effects, between ketamine sessions and near-death experiences. As ketamine produces dissociative experiences, the possible relationships between its use and the possible occurrence of post-traumatic symptomatology are also explored.

    The results suggest that ketamine is a drug that appears to induce near-death experiences quite reliably as measured by psychometric instruments. Future controlled studies should confirm these preliminary results.



    Background: Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic used recreationally for its ability to induce altered states of consciousness in sub-anesthetic doses. Different studies have found that experiences with ketamine may have some similarity with the near-death experiences (NDE) on the subjective level; hence its interest as an object of study to the field of Transpersonal Psychology. Experience with ketamine and NDE share a dissociative effect, as well as and neurobiological mechanisms that may be underlying their phenomenological similarity.

    Methods: In this study, the Near Death Experience Scale (NDES) and the Impact of Event Scale- Revised (IES-R) have been administered to people who have had experiences with ketamine (n = 54) in order to explore: first, the possible similarity between the experience with ketamine and NDEs, and second, if there is a similarity also in terms of occurrence of post-traumatic effects that may be secondary to the experience of a dissociative experience.

    Results: 79.6% of participants met the criteria for NDEs and 9.3% met criteria for post-traumatic symptoms. Most subjects rated the experience as positive and enjoyable. 

    Conclusions: We conclude that ketamine experience seems to mimic the NDE pretty well; but studies in controlled contexts that confirm the results found in this preliminary study are needed.


    Link to the article

    Photo by AndalucĂ­a AndaluĂ­a on Unsplash.

    Categories: Psychedelics , Studies & papers
    Tags: study , subjective effects , ketamine , near-death experiences , post-traumatic stress disorder , scientific research