Ketamine originally developed as a Vietnam battlefield painkiller is becoming a popular recreational drug as one user put it; ‘to explore the darker side of the mind.’
It is medicinally classified as a ‘NMDA receptor antagonist’ and is listed for a range of uses from analgesia to anaesthetic, and can cause diverse effects from hallucinations to high blood pressure.
Its principle uses are as a veterinary horse tranquilliser, and getting predominantly young clubbers high.
Ketamine comes in white crystalline powder similar to headline drugs such as cocaine and can be snorted or injected.
Small doses provide the user with a rush of energy creating excitement on the dance floor. A wonderful high has been credited to larger doses producing a detached sensation of time slowing down with vivid hallucinations to match.
Of course injecting improves the effect, but the picture of ‘jacking up’ anaesthetics in public toilets quickly kills the idea of fun, bringing visions of overdoses and comatose bodies lying slumped on the cubicle floor waiting for the emergency services to pick up the pieces of yet another ruined life.
Ketamine is classed as a class C drug in the UK and schedule III in the USA, a sort of legal no man’s land somewhere between prescription medicine and illegal drug. It is legitimately manufactured in the Indian sub-continent and smuggled worldwide.
The Canadian government classed Ketamine as a schedule I narcotic in 2005 and experienced a rapid rise in organised crime involvement. This often happens when a state forces a massive price increase by banning an otherwise mundane substance.
Does Ketamine cause any more long term harm than any other psychoactive drug, alcohol and tobacco included? There have been some nasty reports of urinary and kidney problems with Ketamine, and lung cancer and other chest ailments with others.
Ultimately in comes down to the individual user of any drug. A little now and again is unlikely to hurt but ever increasing daily use will devastate the individual’s life and those of family and friends who continue to hang around.
It’s down to the sense of responsibility a person has, and ultimately his or her self esteem. After all if an individual is in a drunken or drugged stupor they are of absolutely no use to themselves or fellow citizens.