Ketamine—chemically, a compound called ketamine hydrochloride—is a drug that was developed in the 1960s to sedate animals and humans for surgery, though it eventually was replaced by medications that worked faster with less risk. Beginning in the 1990s, initially to the puzzlement of police, burglars began breaking into veterinary clinics and stealing ketamine. They soon learned that recreational drug users had discovered ketamine and were turning it into the new hallucinogenic party drug. In its standard powdered form, ketamine looked like cocaine, and could be snorted in the same way. But it also could be easily modified for injecting, smoking or even mixing into drinks.