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Towards an Explanation of Subjective Ketamine Experiences among Young Injection Drug Users

Towards an Explanation of Subjective Ketamine Experiences among Young Injection Drug Users

  1. Jatelka
    Addiction Research and Theory 2008;16(3):273-287

    Lankenau SE (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...l.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus), Sanders B (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...l.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus), Bloom JJ (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...l.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus), Hathazi D (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...l.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus).

    Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic with powerful sedative and hallucinogenic properties. Despite the wide variability in reported subjective experiences, no study has attempted to describe the particular factors that shape these experiences. This manuscript is based upon a sample of 213 young injection drug users recruited in New York, New Orleans, and Los Angeles with histories of ketamine use. Qualitative interviews focused on specific ketamine events, such as first injection of ketamine, most recent injection of ketamine, and most recent experience sniffing ketamine. Findings indicate that six factors impacted both positive and negative ketamine experiences: polydrug use, drug using history, mode of administration, quantity and quality of ketamine, user group, and setting. Most subjective experiences during any given ketamine event were shaped by a combination of these factors. Additionally, subjective ketamine experiences were particularly influenced by a lifestyle characterized by homelessness and traveling.