At Addiction Helper we frequently get calls from people seeking information about Ketamine.
In 2011 Drugscope reported that Ketamine users had doubled in 4 years. It is of increasing use especially amongst young people and clubbers in the UK.
So what is Ketamine? Why do people take it and what are the risks of taking the drug?
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a general anaesthetic which is used in animal and human operations. It is very powerful and causes a loss of bodily feeling and muscular paralysis. It is closely related to the drug PCP.
There are different ways a person might ingest Ketamine. It is usually snorted as a white powder but can come as tablets which are swallowed or a clear liquid which is injected.
It is sometimes known as “Special K” or “Ravers’ Smack.” The price of Ketamine was according to Drugscope is between
£10- £20 per gram.
Why do people use Ketamine?
Ketamine can produce a feeling of euphoria. The main effect of Ketamine is keeping the person using it wide awake, it can also use hallucinations.
When taken at higher doses, Ketamine can cause something called a ‘K Hole.’ This means that the user feels as if they detached from their bodies. The reality is that their drug use has left them totally immobile.
Ketamine users may describe as being in a K Hole as very frightening and for some people it may feel like a near death experience.
Some users also reports that Ketamine can make them feel very relaxed and as if they are having an out of the body experience, they sometimes describe it as feeling as if they are floating.
What are the risk of taking Ketamine?
If you mix taking Ketamine with alcohol, benzos or opiates this can affect your breathing and your heart. It can be fatal and cause you to become unconscious and inhale your vomit. Ketamine risks are also increased if taken with Ecstasy or Speed.
Other risks are ‘K Cramps’ these are stomach pains which affect many Ketamine users and mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks and cognitive confusion.
Another serious risk of Ketamine use is the damage it causes to the bladder. It can cause congealed blood in the urine, incontinence, pain, bladder infections which do not clear up and difficulty passing urine.
There have been cases in the UK where users bladders have had to be removed or stretched due to the damage caused by Ketamine addiction.
Injecting Ketamine can lead to vein problems such as abscesses and deep vein thrombosis. You are also at risk of blood borne viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis C if you share needles.
Whilst Ketamine is not physically addictive it is psychologically addictive and users will build up a psychological dependence on the drug.
Who can help?
You or your friend can call us at Addiction Helper and we will be able to offer advice and treatment options.
You can also encourage your friend to start going to NA meetings these are found locally across the UK.
If your friend is experiencing bladder problems do encourage them to seek medical advice.