Ketamine is Less Harmful than Tobacco

By chillinwill · May 11, 2010 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    Before the notice of classification of ketamine under the Misuse of Drugs Act came, it was presumed that ketamine was a chemical agent used in cigarettes, which makes tobacco an illegal drug.

    A few years back, Science and Technology Committee of the UK Parliament called for reorganizing the classification of alcohol and tobacco, as, together they account for 90% of all drug-related deaths in the UK. The research in the Lancet, the British Medical Journal in 2007 also mentioned that alcohol and tobacco were ranked among the top ten most dangerous substances posed to society, as it can cause both physical as well as social harm.

    But, ketamine is far milder to tobacco and far less dangerous, but as ketamine is again reclassified as a controlled drug, doctors, DHBs, vets etc. will have to put it in restriction as well as maintain the record of its use.

    Ketamine is also known as Special K and Vitamin K. Though not very widely use, but young people have started using it for recreational purpose, but there is no evidence for the same.

    Moreover, ketamine is far less harmful in comparison to tobacco which kills more than 5,000 New Zealanders every year. Tobacco consumption leads to various types of cancers like that of a lung, bladder, mouth, pharyngeal, pancreatic, kidney, stomach, laryngeal, and esophageal cancer.

    Prakash Sharma
    May 5, 2010
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  1. _Dante_
    I don't understand. This piece of news is so poorly written that it is barely readable, and doesn't even make sense.

    Is it some sort of joke?
  2. Insomniacsdream
    Sombody hasn't looked at the negative effects of ketamine before writing their article. At least alcohol doesn't make you piss out pieces of your own bladder.
  3. TheUnicorn
    My unicorn reckons the writer had just emerged from a k-hole before writing this article.

  4. enquirewithin
    Ketamine only damages the bladders of those who abuse it enormously. Cigarettes don't make you fall over either (unless you are dying of a lung disease). It's a funny article but statistically ketamine is less likely to cause serious diseases than tobacco.
  5. Insomniacsdream
    But if you were to do a line every time you smoked a cigorette (theoretically possible) Ketamine is infinity more harmful.
  6. enquirewithin
    Have you ever met someone who is dying from a respiratory disease from chronic smoking? Nothing is 'infinity' worse than that.
  7. Synthesised
    That just comes down to how certain drugs are used and dosed, their half lives, their toxicities.
    If you used 1mg of ketamine every time you smoke a cigarette (=1mg of nicotine), you would be unlikely to even notice. Please don't draw such uninformed comparisons in the future.
  8. Insomniacsdream
    Yes I also know a person who has been given a replacement bladder, now has fucked the prosthetic up and now wont be given another so has to live with a catheter the rest of his life, he is 26. He still snorts a few grams a day. I also know somebody with one failed kidney and the other "kidney of a sixty year old" according to the doctor, he is 23. Very few people get smoking related diseases until they have been smoking for decades.
    But that isn't a fair comparison. My suggestion is dose for dose which is probably the most objective way of judging harm. If you dosed ketamine every time you dosed nicotine the Ketamine would kill you far far quicker therefore Ketamine is more harmful. Even if you compare someone doing a gram of Ketamine a day (I know people who do far more then that) with a fourty a day smoker which people rarely exceed the Ketamine will fuck you up first.

    People may say that a drug is less harmful then tobacco to make a point but in the overall scheme of things if you take a drug repeatedly daily then it will usually kill you quicker then tobacco will.
  9. enquirewithin
    It's hard to make a comparison between a general anaesthetic and cigarettes. People in their twenties do die of lung cancer too. Not many ketamine users are stupid enough to use it daily and destroy major organs. In the part of the world SWIM lives in ketamine is used recreationally a great deal. Most people don't take it great excess, just as most drinkers don't drink two bottles of whisky a day.
  10. Insomniacsdream
    Fair. Visit the south east of England and it is a real problem if you are part of the rave scene. A lot of people are really screwing themselves up, I hear its a massive problem in Thailand as well. With cigorettes if you abuse them heavily it is likely lung cancer will kill you, with ketamine if you abuse it heavily its definite that it will kill you with a long enough time scale, that was the point I was trying to make although as you say its a hard comparison to make. Straight figures on overall deaths per year obviously tobacco seems worse and its probably a fair bit more addictive, and far more socially accepted.
  11. Electric Wizard
    I'd like to know where you're getting this idea of ketamine screwing people up? The only people I've seen screwing themselves over at raves are those who drink way too much, sometimes combined with several (adulterated with who-knows-what) pills. As far as I know (I know many users) people who use ketamine at raves mainly use it for just that, I highly doubt they're going to be raving every day, and therefore won't be taking it every day.
    I do have one friend whos ketamine use got a bit out of hand, caused acute mental problems (if you can call it that, more like a long comedown), no physical problems at all, and he's fine now.
    For the record, the wizard occasionally takes a high dose of ketamine, at home, alone, as part of a learning experience. He doesn't like taking such substances at raves, only tryptamines and phenethylamines.
    I have never heard of any of the ketamine users I've met having bladder problems, I hear about the possibility all the time but where's the actual evidence?
    Oh, ketamine won't 'definately' kill you with everyday use, do a bit of research on John Lilly.
  12. NeuroChi
    It is a poorly written article not founded on much more than speculation. As if it was such a problem that Veterinarians had to keep a log of how much Ketamine they use in anesthesia, what next, Doctors will have to monitor how many benzo's they prescribe to their patients?

    Come come now wavicle, I see the statistical data as well but death count and social cost are just two factors that happen to always be used to make out Alcohol and Tobacco as the worst drugs in the world by these 'pro-drug' enthusiatis. ;)

    A ketamine addiction (and it does happen) would be far more debilitating to an individual than a nicotine addiction, and I'd say the average cigarette smoker would be psychologically healthier than the average ketamine user.

    This may be the product of a post hoc, propter hoc conundrum where those likely to abuse ketamine have underlying predispositions somehow implicated in their general lifestyle... and not to mention that fact that general cigarette use is far more socially acceptable than general ketamine use.

    Anyway, the variables surmount any evidence that Mr. Prakash Sharma puts forth, and my conclusion is he doesn't know what he's talking about.
  13. Enlightenment
    I personally think this comparison is kind of stupid to be honest. I would say that both substances are incredibly bad for you in one sense or another, but the circumstances to which we compare them are totally different. If K were legal, we might see people abusing it like cigarettes, and might see the outrageous negative effects of chronic ketamine use. Say if tobacco were made illegal, people would still smoke it, just like how people continue to use ketamine, but far less would, and less people would be addicted to it, and less people would die from it. With ketamine being as illegal as it is, it makes it that much more difficult for people to get addicted to it, unlike tobacco, so really trying to compare the two in terms of harm to your body is almost not even worth it. Cigarettes are easy to get, and even easier to get addicted to just because of how readily available they are to the public. Ketamine is very difficult to obtain for most people, which seriously supresses the chance of addiction and abuse. That's really where the hypocrisy is in my opinion; people give a totally skewed view on other types of drugs only because of the legality surrounding it, when cigarettes are made to seem better than they are only because of their legal status, and already severely addicted group of users.

    All of that put aside, i would say both are highly addictive, both are absolutely terrible for your body, but nonetheless people continue to use and abuse them. If that's the case, then we should try to help people to understand the implications of their actions for using ANYTHING, and make them aware of how much they care about their body. Substances of any kind is bad for the most part, so we should just try to push people towards moderation (for the most part), rather than trying to pin point exactly which is worse for you because that debate becomes tired and useless pretty fast.
  14. Insomniacsdream
    "I get this idea from friends and acquaintances. Many people do just use ketamine at raves but some use it daily. Its not just a possibility. I have had 3 UTIs and I didn't really use daily, probably did about 3 grams a week for a couple of months. I only know one person with their bladder replaced but I know two with permanent catheters and countless people who have pissed blood. I'm aware of John Lilly, not entirely sure why it didn't fuck him up but I heard if you IM ketamine its less corrosive as its dissolved in water, no idea if that is factual or not but I have seen first hand plenty of problems associated with ketamine use"-Swim
  15. Electric Wizard
    The thing is though, I also know countless people who are heavy ketamine users, and not one of them has complained of any of these symptoms. This includes the wizard.
    People (countless?) are honestly pissing blood and still taking it? I don't wanna come across as a dick, but I find your story to be highly unbelievable.
    Is ketamine less harmful (physically) than tobacco? I personally believe so. I can agree that this article isn't very well done though.
  16. Insomniacsdream
    "I know the heaviest ketamine users in my area but they are by no means the heaviest in the world. Ketamine can be highly addictive which people don't really realise. My story may sound highly unbelievable but do a little research these aren't isolated cases, what is your definition of heavy use, ever seen somebody sniff their way though a litre (50g) of ketamine in a week?."-swim
  17. enquirewithin
    I would be interested to see research indicating what percentage of ketamine users have serious health problems.

    In SWIM's experience, very few users actually get to the point of damaging internal organs, just as most people who drink alcohol don't develop sclerosis of the liver or stomach complaints, etc.
  18. frantastic
    Swim has personal experience of damaging her lower urinary tract because of ket. she was sniffing about 3/4 grams a day for about a month, having previously used it but not to such an extreme. She only started using it 7 months ago, but it got a real hold of her very quickly.

    She started experiencing abdominal and back pain, then when this started to subside she began experiencing the need to pass water very often (at worst every 5-10 minutes), this was accompanied by very bad pain when passing water and blood in the urine. The GP diagnosed a urinary tract infection and started her on a course of anti biotics, but they made no difference at all. Then she was contacted by the GP who said that the specimen she gave showed no infection or bacteria. Now she has to go for a bladder scan to see what the damage is.

    Swim isn't preaching here, ket is a great drug when enjoyed responsively, but it can get a hold on you. Not everyone is as stupid as swim and most people won't go through this. Bit swim would advise people who like ket to be careful because the experience of bladder and urinary tract damage is not pleasant. the pain is severe, and needing to piss every 5 mins practically leaves u=you house bound.

    By all means enjoy ket, but don't be a stupid arse like swim and end up in a shit situation that could have been avoided by just being sensible.
  19. enquirewithin
    Very reasonable attitude from SWIfrantastic. It is without doubt true that ketamine does cause health problems when used in excess, and definitely mental problems too (see various threads). It is also very dangerous to drive even many hours after taking it and SWIM would add, its very easy to injure by one's self by falling over. SWIM does not take ketamine any more, partly it is very mentally addictive and partly because of minor accidental injuries. He is not advocating its use, but does not see why it should be criminalised either.
  20. interlunar
    Hey guys,

    so SWIM wants by no means to come off flaming, and if this falls a little bit out of topic he says he's sorry.

    but, really, it's a psychedelic. if we're talking about this from a purely physiological standpoint then he would absolutely buy an argument that ketamine is less harmful than cigarettes. he thinks, though, that when talking about a substance being harmful, psychological harm really needs to be a part of the discussion. and for him it's a given that ketamine has infinitely more potential to do psychological damage than cigarettes.

    And again, SWIM isn't attacking anybody, because an opinion is just that, and he isn't pretending to be any more right than the others swimmers here. This isn't even to say all of your pets are doing this, because obviously that isn't the case. It's more of this kind of myopic convention (of not considering mental harm) that he's taking issue with, the kind that these discussions always seem to invite for whatever reason.
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