Ketamine is a type of dissociative anesthetic that is commonly seen in operating rooms around the world.  It has served a useful purpose as a painkiller both in classical clinical settings and out in the field used for causalities of war and accidents.

 

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It’s not for dogs

As a common drug of abuse it is used to achieve hallucinatory states of consciousness that give off a powerful feel of being detached from the world around you as well as giving painkiller like effects similar to opiates.

Although used as a recreational drug at parties and raves, it can be exceptionally habit forming for a few who are regularly exposed to it.

Although considered safe to use in an operating theatre, ketamine is especially dangerous when used outside of that environment.  In small doses it gives off a mild rush of euphoria and stoned feeling, however as the dose increases it can cause a state of emergence delirium. Whereby the user’s ability to judge anything real is considerably hampered and dream-like or nightmarish hallucination takes over.

Due to the removed from reality experience of ketamine, users are especially vulnerable to hazards such as falling over, sexual abuse, accidents, choking on vomit and cardio problems.

Long term usage leads to serious bladder problems, some of which are irreversible.   The number of deaths associates with ketamine is escalating yearly across the globe along with number of people reporting an addiction to the drug. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/may/01/ketamine-teenage-drug-use-warning   Ketamine use can cause damage to the bladder, called ketamine cystitis which cannot be reserved, so stopping addiction as early as possible is vital to health. http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/25186316

Bladder problems are very common place for those who use daily.  It does not matter how little or much you use, everyone is different, some more susceptible than others.

 

Common symptoms of ketamine-cystitis include:

  • Urgently needing to urinate
  • Finding it painful to urinate and having blood in your urine
  • Not being able to hold as much urine in your bladder

 

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03576.x/abstract;jsessionid=353ABB33FE7D0D992A64DD06B70D4503.f04t03

 

Other physical symptoms of ketamine abuse include heart problems (including cardiac arrest) http://www.emsvillage.com/articles/article.cfm?id=283 . The crystalline like powder of ketamine causes a caustic effect on the soft tissue inside the nose which erodes over time, this process is often irreversible also. Many users who seek the more wilder experiences of ketamine begin injecting risking infection and blood born viruses such as HIV, HepB and Hep C.

As well as damaging the body physically long term use of ketamine causes memory loss, depression and is thought to be a contributing factor of psychosis. Many users of the drug are not able to self-report on this sensation and take it on board as par for course of its usage.  Some users strongly believe the psychotic experiences of ketamine to be in some way uplifting and confabulate unlikely ideas to justify this and continue taking the drug.

Some users of long-term users ketamine can experience withdrawal symptoms from usage, this presents as abdominal pains known sometimes as “ketamine cramps” and sensitivity towards general pains.   As well as physical pain users may experience increase levels of anxiety, strong compelling urges to use and depression in the withdrawal process.

How do you treat ketamine?

Ketamine is not thought to be physically addictive. Urges to use come from the mind, however these cannot be underestimated. Many users find it very overwhelming and simply cannot face the day without using.  Most addicts respond well to interventions, but without successfully removing addicts away from their using environments change can be very difficult to achieve.

 

-Written by Dylan Kerr

 

 

 

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