Ketamine is often referred to as a ‘horse tranquilliser’, although this is not strictly correct. It is widely used in veterinary medicine, as an anaesthetic in small mammals such as cats, dogs and rodents, and to relieve pain in large animals – such as horses. In human medicine, ketamine is a very important anaesthetic, as, under the control of medical professionals, it is considered safe in almost all cases.
As a recreational drug, ketamine has been popular for a long time, particularly on the club scene. Users of ketamine experience effects that can include hallucinations, euphoria, numbness and a sense of dissociation from the world around them. For many users of ketamine, the ultimate goal is to experience what is known as ‘the K-hole’, a state where the person becomes completely detached from the world around them and loses all sense of time.
Ketamine is an attractive drug to young people in particular, who tend to see only what are perceived as the ‘positive’ effects, being unaware of the serious side effects repeated use of ketamine can have. Between 2005 and 2013, ketamine was a contributing factor in ninety deaths in England and Wales, with the majority of these deaths being young people.
Legendary DJ Admits Ketamine Addiction
World-renowned and multi-award winning house DJ Erick Morillo spoke out last year about his struggles with ketamine addiction. In a highly candid interview conducted by Pete Tong during the International Music Summit in Ibiza, he spoke about the reasons behind his addiction, and some of the lowest points he reached.
Morillo spoke openly about his slide into addiction, citing the competition he experienced from younger DJ’s as the main reason for his problems. He said: “My ego couldn’t take that I wasn’t the top dog anymore. That’s when things started to unravel.” His ketamine use spiralled out of control, and he ended up experiencing serious side effects and having to hospitalise himself, where he was heavily sedated.
One of the side effects of repeated ketamine use is damage to the kidneys and bladder, which can result in an inability to urinate, blood in the urine due to damage to the bladder walls and, in extreme cases, the need for complete removal of the bladder. Those who reach this extreme will have to spend the rest of their lives with a catheter and bag fitted.
For Morillo, things hadn’t quite reached that extreme, but he was unable to urinate, no matter how hard he tried. The severe pain led him to take himself to hospital, where he was sedated and catheterised. When he woke up, he found that the difficulty in urinating was not the only harm caused by the ketamine. Doctors had also been forced to remove part of his arm. Repeated injections of ketamine had led to serious infection and had it not been treated, he had been at risk of losing the whole arm.
Speaking about his addiction, Morillo said: “One of the biggest things for me is that I never thought I would be that person. No one is immune to that.”
Attempts at Recovery
Morillo had a long history of drug and alcohol abuse, and he talked about his three attempts at rehab. The first, he said, was for someone else. The second visit was the result of a court order brought about by his behaviour. Speaking about his lowest points, he said that he had been arrested on three occasions, had ‘lost the love of his life’ from whom he became divorced after a short marriage, and he was banned from all British Airways planes. His third visit to rehab was for himself, probably a very good reason why this attempt was successful.
Recovery from addiction is a difficult process and so will rarely be successful if the addict is not truly committed to their decision to stop. Ketamine is psychologically highly addictive, and ketamine addiction is very difficult to recover from.
Erick Morillo’s recovery was long but ultimately successful. He is now much more positive about his career, saying during his interview: “I’m just doing it for love – literally. I used to say that, but now I f*****g mean it.”
Help to Recover
Few people successfully recover from addiction without some form of support. Here at Addiction Helper, we can provide you with advice, help you find the right treatments options, and help you to understand the reasons behind your addiction. We have a wealth of experience in supporting those recovering from addiction, so please call us today.
Source: Watch Rick Morillo Get Honest about his Ketamine Addiction (MixMag)