Ketamine (to be re-classified?) linked to bladder damage

By Terrapinzflyer · Oct 27, 2009 · Updated Oct 28, 2009 · ·
  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Ketamine linked to bladder damage

    Stronger laws may be needed to stop one of Britain's fastest growing drugs causing permanent damage to its users, MPs have been warned.

    Ketamine, a horse anaesthetic increasingly used as a recreational drug, may need to be reclassified from its current Class C status amid fears it is causing irreversible bladder damage, Professor David Nutt, a key Government adviser, said.

    He also told the Home Affairs Committee there was a potential case for a "mature debate" about the potential legalisation of some drugs.

    The committee, which is investigating the state of cocaine usage in society, was told many young people were turning to ketamine as a recreational drug because the street strengths of ecstasy and cocaine had declined.

    But Prof Nutt warned: "We are seeing a consistent increase in use and we are seeing a very worrying effect in terms of bladder spasms and bladder pain. There is concern that it is causing permanent bladder damage."

    Calling for a possible review of laws surrounding the drug, he added: "Class C may be the wrong class."

    The panel, sitting at the Houses of Parliament, also heard from Paul Hayes, chief executive of the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse, and Dr Neil Brener, from the Priory Clinic.

    Mr Hayes, who said £800,000,000 a year was spent on tackling drugs misuse, said the development of a pill to combat cocaine addiction would not provide a "magic" solution.

    Last week the committee heard from singer Amy Winehouse's father, who warned that alcohol is leading people on to heroin and cocaine.

    Mitch Winehouse, who said his daughter had been sober for a year, also said he supported calls for addicts to be given free heroin on the NHS.

    (UKPA) UK Press Association

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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Re: Ketamine linked to bladder damage

    Get tough on ketamine, MPs told

    Courts should be given more powers to crack down on one of the UK's fastest-growing drugs to prevent permanent damage to users, MPs have heard.

    Professor David Nutt said it was feared ketamine, designed as a horse anaesthetic, was harming bladders.

    It should be upgraded from a class C substance, the government adviser told the home affairs committee.

    This would increase the maximum sentence for possession from two years to at least five years.

    Ketamine was linked to the deaths of 23 people between 1993 and 2006. Most had accidents after taking the drug.

    There have been concerns it is growing in popularity on the UK club scene and it was made illegal in January 2006, after a surge in the number of people using it.

    Prof Nutt, an expert in addiction who works at Bristol University, told the committee: "We are seeing a consistent increase in use and we are seeing a very worrying effect in terms of bladder spasms and bladder pain.

    "There is concern that it is causing permanent bladder damage."

    He told the MPs he had heard that many young people were turning to ketamine as a recreational drug because the street strengths of ecstasy and cocaine had declined.

    On a possible review of the law, Prof Nutt added: "Class C may be the wrong class."

    Substances listed in this category by the Home Office are considered the "least dangerous illegal drugs".

    Possession of class B drugs, such as cannabis and amphetamines, carries a maximum sentence of five years in jail, while for class C drugs it is two years.

    The penalty for being caught with the most dangerous - class A - drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, is seven years.
  2. kroozer
    Re: Ketamine linked to bladder damage

    IT would be absurd to put stiffer punishments on drugs that pose hardly any risk of overdose. Everything is being scheduled. No 5meo-dmt is being scheduled 1

    Possibly more research needs to be done to figure out if the ketamine on the streets are cut with other subst. Though SWIM is not from the UK. Use in large amounts over time could cause problems. That is with many drugs though.

    Swim is not too familiar with the UK scene though. It would be nice to see the population sample and control methods of the people having bladder impairment.
    Including what other drugs consumed over time that could have negative effects while mixing with ket.

    Good info.:thumbsup:
  3. Seaquake
    Re: Ketamine linked to bladder damage

    I'm fairly sure it couldn't be classed above c anyway because it is used in medical situations. I'm fairly sure ambulances carry it for instance. class b would make it illegal for even ambulances to have.
  4. machine_elf
    Re: Ketamine linked to bladder damage

    No it wouldn't, the fact it is a controlled drug just means that it needs to be locked away in the ambulance and that paperwork needs to be done to account for its use just like with morphine.
  5. Seaquake
    I could have sworn I read somewhere B meant that they were illegal to posses for any reason, but I must remember wrong or maybe I got the wrong impression from what I'd read.
  6. Coconut
    Horse anaesthetic?

    Wait, no... I'm not even going to bother.
  7. tinytom
    Thanks for the info. I've been meaning to write this chap a letter anway.
  8. Birkill
    Swim knows what you mean it is a horse tranq but what it primally is is a psychodelic dissasocaitive, just like morphine is a pain killer but we all know that its a pretty darn recrational drug! I reckon a higher % of k is used recreationaly then for the supposed use of it, but anyway back to the point, one of my turkeys friends "z" eneded up in hospital with sistitus and a kidney malfunction after she consumed large amounts of K over a peroid of time so it does carry physical damge risk when abused just like any other drug. K heads would still use this drug even if it was class A, i think education of the dangers of excessive use would be a more pro active approach then simply fuking a person over more for being in possesion of it!
  9. corvardus
    Good. Excellent. Sow the seeds Prof. Nutt. My budgies pet tortoise is fast coming to the conclusion, thanks to the myopic criminalisation of various "legals", that even mentioning a "mature debate" about legalising some drugs is the way forward.

    Sowing the seeds in the minds of politicians that a decriminalisation of the safest of drugs might be the way forward in preventing people from trying harder and more dangerous drugs.

    SWIM is hoping for a more rational approach to drug policy thanks in part to Portugal, Mexico and Argentina with their decriminalising efforts. It is the long haul, but if if Prof. Nutt the chairman of the ACMD is calling for a "mature debate" the fact that someone of such influence is speaking into the ear of politicians taking the position of damage mitigation rather than blanket prohibition there might, just might, be hope for this country in the forseeable future.

    It, of course, depends on what the Cameron government is going to do. Right wingers tend to take "progress" two steps back, more often than not.

    Lets be realistic, here. Labour is going to be raped, and hard, like the Conservatives were in 1997. It's going to be a convincing win with a high majority. If that does not happen my budgie's pet tortoise will twist it's nipples and call itself Doreen!
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