HE MOTHER of a man who died after snorting a popular party drug has urged young people not to put their lives on the line for a chemical high.
Daniel Ince, 22, died after falling into a catatonic state and collapsing at a house party in Guest Road, Cambridge, where he had taken ketamine, a drug used as a horse tranquiliser by vets.
An inquest into his death, held at Cambridge's Shire Hall, heard the waste-disposal worker had been drinking heavily on the night of the party, and it was the combined effects of booze and ketamine that killed him.
The coroner heard from Det Con Phil Grime, who investigated Mr Ince's death, who said it was the first recorded fatality caused by snorting ketamine - the only other deaths linked to the drug were a result of injected overdoses.
Mr Ince took the drug at a party he went to with his ex-girlfriend, and quickly fell into a trance-like state known to ketamine users as a "K-hole".
The inquest heard his druginduced state meant that, for a while, he was awake but totally unaware of his surroundings, then he appeared to fall asleep, which the other party-goers thought was normal.
But as the tragedy unfolded on September 2 last year, and it became clear he could not be woken, he was carried outside and dumped in the street.
Two of his acquaintances phoned an ambulance and alerted a police patrol, but it was too late for Mr Ince, who was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Mr Ince's mother Karen said: "I just hope Dan's death is not in vain, that young people take notice and steer clear of drugs which, as this tragedy has shown, can kill.
"The trouble with Dan was he was a light-weight with drink, but when he went out he would really go for it, and in the end he had paid for that with his life.
"He had experimented with drugs, but the irony is that in general he was against them - but ketamine is so cheap that, for someone who did not have much money, it must have seemed like a way of subsidising a night out, having a few beers and a bit of ketamine.
"The hardest thing is the knowledge that the other people at the party did not help him, and then left him in the street - Dan would never have done that if the roles were reversed."
Det Con Grime added: "You can not take ketamine and be sure you will walk away from it - you could drop dead. It is not a case of having a good time, this stuff can kill you."
Coroner David Morris said Mr Ince, of Cemetery Road, Bishop's Stortford, had the equivalent of more than three times the alcohol drink drive limit in his system - potentially enough to kill on its own.
He recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.
'Fashionable' drug becoming more popular
CLUBBERS are increasingly turning to ketamine for new kicks and it is emerging as a fashionable drug of choice.
Ketamine - known as "special K" or "vitamin K" - is traditionally used as a powerful veterinary anaesthetic and was graded as a Class C controlled drug. The drug induces hallucinations and euphoria and can give out-of- body experiences.
It was used during the Second World War as an anaesthetic on the battlefields to numb patients during operations.
Ketamine initially had a big following as a niche drug, but it has become increasingly common at parties and dance events. The drug is also thought to be on the increase among college students, who prefer it because it is cheap.
Effects depend on the dose and users report out-of-body experiences in which their mind and body seem to separate. It can be particularly dangerous when taken in conjunction with alcohol or other depressants.
It costs around £10 a gram.
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