Health - Ketamine toxicity/after effects/harm reduction

Discussion in 'Ketamine' started by Niteflights, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. Niteflights

    Niteflights Titanium Member

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    I am very curious regarding anyone's experience with long term use of ketamine. It seems that a significant amount of contradictory data exists on this subject. Some of the most notable ketamine proponents (John Lilly, Marica Moore, DM Turner) seemed to have suffered severe personality shifts to say the least, (Turner drowned in his bathtub on K and Moore froze to death after a massive overdose/suicide).

    The only study I am aware of documenting ketamines pharmacological danger is Olney's writings on his now infamous lesions. Apparently everyone is eager to dismiss these findings in human scenarios but I believe they are still relevant. What compounds the issue is that several substances have been found to prevent Olney's lesions (LSD, barbs) but little to no information is available on the dosages and modalities.


    I am reading Karl Jansen's excellent book Ketamine Dreams and Realities but it seems Jansen like most ketamine proponents is so enamored with the substance that he tends to dismiss it potential long term damage.

    One aspect that is certainly relevant is the permanent tolerance that many report after repeated ketamine use. Even after abstaining from use for a year or more, upon next use it can still be difficult or impossible to induce a full fledged k-hole experience even with massive doses. Clearly some permanent physiological change is taking place.

    It seems ketamine deserves some harm reduction discussion/research on the level that MDMA has received in the past couple of years. One close individual has become an absolute kook after continual rampant abuse.

    Any input from long term ketamine users or researchers is much appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013
  2. Fantasian

    Fantasian Gold Member

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    I wish i could add more to this. SWIFantasian's experiences of ketamine are somewhat limited. I would like to point out however, with virtually any drug use ever that i have seen in SWIFantasian there is about a week - 2 week after effect where SWIFantasian readapts back to baseline. I have noted this with opiates, Benzodiazapines, Magic mushrooms and Ketamine among others. Im not sure whether this relates to what your thinking but i hope my information helped.

    On a side note there is masses of information at erowid and on google conflicting with Olney's lesions and their viablitiy. As to whether LSD and barbituates have an effect on that i've really no idea.
     
  3. fastandbulbous

    fastandbulbous Titanium Member

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    Psychological damage - I don't think you'll get any arguements from anybody who's either taken or had contact with people who have taken ketamine. Heavy users seem to develop some really fucking strange ideas as to the forces at work in the 'normal world', but I don't think there's any clear cut evidence of actual physical damage (ie neurotoxicity) associated with ketamine.

    That said, I think the possible psychological changes that can happen with prolonged, sustained ketamine abuse are enough to make anyone considering it's use sit up and take notice. My personal use of ketamine is of the order of 1-2g per month, generally consumed over the space of one extended weekend (via IM route) and I have no intention of increasing it anytime soon (although access to an unlimited supply would present a huge exercise in self control). People who consume it on an everyday basis (I've seen some reports of up to 2g/day over a several week period) are definitely storing up a whole load of psychological problems for later - some that because of a huge change in their internal model of the world can take years to get back to their pre-ketamine state
     
  4. Nagognog2

    Nagognog2 Iridium Member

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    Do you mean to infer that the known universe is not held in a steady-state of glued murals being rotated by gnomes that live on the North Pole?! Their goes my Phd!
     
  5. smoggy32

    smoggy32 Newbie

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    Sorry if this doesnt really answer the post but it seems relavent to me..

    I have always had the believe that there are some risks of permenant damage to some part of your body when taking drugs of any kind. To think that you can introduce substances, especially for recreational purposes, into the body and not be exposed to some risk is naive.

    If you use drugs heavily for prolonged periods you increase your exposure to such risks. Most substances have a threshold that if u pass it there will be damage to the body. This occurs with water, sugar and loads of usually harmless sucbstances....drug users rarely have the ability to find out if any permenant after effects are caused by actual physical damage or are physchological.

    I think that in the big scheme of thing Ketamine is one of the safer substance a person can take...it must be fairly safe because the medical profession advocate its use (not recreationaly).
     
  6. geezaman

    geezaman Gold Member Donating Member

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    not quite what niteflights was looking for I know but I couldn't resist mentioning the last episode in season 2 of House shown in the UK last thursday brushed by the topic of K and brain damage. Also I have a friend who had a 24h K binge the first hour including my friends 1st experience of K, in between taking more through this period and in the hour following the binge my friend also ate 2 pounds of sausage, 1 of bacon and 2 of steak and nothing else, my friend has never seemed quite the same since. His binge happened a few months ago now.
     
  7. enquirewithin

    enquirewithin Gold Member

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    It seems as if Turner fell into his bath after taking a shot of ketamine (which is not very intelligent). Marcia Moore used to sit under a tree to prevent her worried husband knowing she was taking ketamine. I doubt she overdosed-- she must have had a significant tolerance! Neither case seems like suicide.

    This comes from William White's FAQ on dissociatives, which he later retracted.
     
  8. Niteflights

    Niteflights Titanium Member

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    Reason topic was posted was I have read a great deal of literature promoting the remarkable physical safety of ketamine and it's lack of harmful affects even at massive anaesthetic doses. Olney found infamous lesions however they are now widely disputed as likely to occur in humans. To top it off ketamine guru Karl Jansen, possibly the most knowledgeable human regarding the substance seems to almost entirely reject the possibility of physical damage. Although his book Ketamine Dreams and Realities is quite excellent and thorough, I still could not help but feel his seeming devotion to the substance at times colored his objectivity in regards to it's potential harmful effects.

    I know one SWIM who engaged in a minor league recreational binge with IM K 100mg 3-4 times a day for several days, a relatively moderate binge according to popular literature. However by end of binge SWIM experienced a very distinct and intense literally burnt (read: not burned out) feeling on surface of cerebral cortex as well as accompanying mental disturbances and loss of memory and considerable mental functions. Condition seemed to persist for 1 month after abstinence period, after which I tested K once again, and after one single administration, the entire suite of disturbances returned as if no break period had passed.

    I have long term (decades) of well researched and at times heavy experience with dozens of tryptamines, DXM, as well as most of the Research Chemicals that have hit the market and has never experienced the disconcerting after affects of repeated ketamine use. This is particularly distressing to SWIM as he finds ketamine to be among most enjoyable of compounds yet encountered. No wonder it was bane of such luminaries as DM Turner.

    Despite popular defense of ketamine's safety, it appears that reports are beginning to trickle in regarding it's neurotoxic potentials:

    Effect of Ketamine on Dendritic Arbor Development and Survival of Immature GABAergic Neurons In Vitro
    http://toxsci.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/91/2/540

    Since history tells us that this substance will contine to be used regardless of toxicological findings, I think it would prudent to develop at least a basic list of harm reduction tactics for employment with ketamine use. Of obvious advantage would be a method to increase systemic elimination of the norketamine metabolite after concentrated use periods, which tend to persist in urine for days to weeks after use.

    Cheers,
    Niteflights
     
  9. enquirewithin

    enquirewithin Gold Member

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    Ketamine may or may not have some neurotoxic qualities, but the effects you are talking about may well me psychological rather than physical. Ketamine is well known for being a very safe anesthetic, even for children (in much larger doses that you would take recreationally)-- it was the 'emergence reactions' not neurotoxicty which have made it less widely used in medicine.
     
  10. Niteflights

    Niteflights Titanium Member

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    One problem with the commonly cited safety of ketamine use in anestasia is that it is only administered once or perhaps a few times over the course of treatment. In contrast, recreational ketamine use tends to be continual, in many cases several times per day, for months, years or until the supply is exhausted.

    Anyone who has fallen in to the repeated use trap can attest that significant mental disturbances are common. Disturbances appear to be of of the organic not the psychological variety although the latter is common as well.

    Cheers,
    Niteflights
     
  11. enquirewithin

    enquirewithin Gold Member

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    Not everyone is Lilly or Moore. Some people can teake ketamine in a more controlled manner!;)

    If ketamine does produce 'organic' damage it is not yet documented.
     
  12. TommyChipshot

    TommyChipshot Newbie

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    Re: Ketamine brain damage/ after effects/ harm reduction

    Hi, I was spiked with a large dose of ketamine as a young man, whilst also consuming alcohol. I went into a K hole and it seriously effected my mental well being. I was diagnosed with an undiagnosed psychotic illness a few years after the event, as I was not actually aware what had happened at the time.

    I am now on a small dose of risperidone which appears to treat the symptoms well enough but I still suffer from a lot of paranoia. I will often miss hear words for example, some one will say thankyou and I will hear fuck you or similar things. As a consequence It's quite difficult for me in places where lots of people are talking at once. But you just learn to live with it and ignore it as much as you can but I assure you this is not a very pleasant thing to live with.

    Similarly I will often have lapses in mental concentration and just totally zone out from time to time, it has also affected my short term memory.

    Also after being spiked with the drug, I started to suffer panic attacks whenever I smoked which maybe a good thing as it unsurprisingly resulted in me quitting smoking. There is no history of mental illness in my family at all. I would advise anyone considering taking this drug to stay clear of it, as it's effects can be life ruining or close to. That said since I have been medicated I have successfully finished university with a 2:1 grade in psychology.

    On an interesting side note, the drug also appears to have allowed me to concentrate on a deeper level, blocking at all other things going around me and expending all mental energy on a singular thing. I find multi tasking very difficult also since being spiked.

    If people on here are doing research studies on the effects of Ketamine on the neural system, I would be happy to help in anyway I can.
     
  13. Xanahalf

    Xanahalf Silver Member

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    Re: Ketamine brain damage/ after effects/ harm reduction

    You posted this in a thread from 2006.

    While it does seem possible that the ketamine experience could be strong enough to trigger a latent mental illness or psychotic state, there is little to no chance that the ketamine had a lasting physical effect on your brain and no way to really establish a causal link.

    While several studies have shown that prolonged, heavy ketamine use can damage certain types of memory (there is controversy about if the effects remain after one quits ketamine - some serious research hints at permanent effects from heavy use!), the effects from a single large dose of ketamine will be gone in a matter of hours. This is not to say the powerful experience one has while on the drug cannot trigger psychosis or force someone to confront something they didnt want to (i had a friend who realized he was gay while on DMT and he was obviously very emotionally distraught over it).

    Ketamine is not unique in its ability to trigger latent mental issues - any and all drugs have been known to do this. Well not ALL drugs but all psychedelic ones including weed have been known to do it! So while telling someone to avoid all drugs of that type if they have a strong history of mental illness could be a good idea, telling people to avoid ketamine specifically for this reason does not make a ton of sense. There are still plenty of reasons to avoid heavy ketamine use tho! ;)

    Anyway, welcome to the forums and I hope you are doing better now!
     
  14. SuicidalSoldier

    SuicidalSoldier Silver Member Newbie

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    Re: Ketamine brain damage/ after effects/ harm reduction

    I'm not ripping into you personally here, man, but i literally rofl'd upon reading the BOLD part...
    I mean..if the government advocate a drug and it's use for human prescriptions, then it MUST be safe, right?
    All you have to do is look at how often they prescribe dangerous and often lethal subtances to people when an alternative is available - and all because the more toxic version is more profitable For instance check out the stuff relating to cannabis oil used to treat skin cancer. one video has images of people who used the chemo cream and ended with really fucked up skin on their faces, and this one guy in the video had 'cured' his skin cancer.
    Now I'm not saying that particular one is valid, just citing an interesting thought, but in essence I would say that just because something is legal and/or prescribed, does not mean it is safe or harmless to use (even when used medicinally as opposed to recreationally).

    Just had to put that in there. Peace and love to you all
     
  15. reef88

    reef88 Silver Member

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    Re: Ketamine brain damage/ after effects/ harm reduction

    On a short term basis, I've found that many illegal substances like LSD, Mescaline, Cannabis, Ketamine, MDMA, they are relatively harmless compared to legal substances such as Benzodiazepines, Z-drugs, Barbiturates, Antidepressants, etc... Not to mention addiction, the worst kind of addictions I've had have come from legal drugs.

    On a long term basis I wouldn't know because apparently the world doesn't give a shit about making studies about things that "we" think are already bad, and the studies we already have aren't compelling enough.
     
  16. SuicidalSoldier

    SuicidalSoldier Silver Member Newbie

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    Re: Ketamine brain damage/ after effects/ harm reduction

    true dat, man.
    true all dat.
     
  17. gl00m

    gl00m Newbie

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    Re: Ketamine brain damage/ after effects/ harm reduction

    Does anyone have any insight into the relationship of frequency of use to volume used with regards to brain damage and/or mental health problems? For example, fastandbulbous mentions using 1-2g a month, usually in one weekend blowout. My intake is similar (perhapelf an addict and suffer the normal problem of spending an unhealthy amount of time thinking abos slightly larger) but takes the form of much smaller amount every couple of days. Which of these approaches do people think is likely to be worse for you? To give the question some context: I am a relatively long-term user and consider myself and addict in the sense that I use largely out of compulsion (which is not to say that I don't enjoy it). Though it might be reasonable to classify addiction as a psychological problem in itself regardless of what it is that one's addicted to, this is the only problem, psychological or physical that I've experienced with Ketamine use. In fact, I find it a very sustainable habit that doesn't seem to impact upon my professional or care responsiblities at all.

    gl00m added 4 Minutes and 56 Seconds later...

    Sorry, would have edited that post but as a newbie I don't have that functionality. That third sentence should say 'My intake is similar (perhaps slightly larger) but takes the form of much smaller amount every couple of days'

     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2013
  18. bluecat1254

    bluecat1254 Newbie

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    Re: Ketamine brain damage/ after effects/ harm reduction

    My suspicion is that much of the persistent cognitive deficits observed in long-term users is because they so persistently indulge in ketamine that they neglect important activities such as training their working memory (and fluid intelligence), which can be done in many ways (e.g., brain games, reading, etc.). The brain is a muscle, and it is well established through ketamine's addictive properties mean that the brain's neural pathways is especially sensitive after (and perhaps during) dissociative use. Why not use it to your advantage by mixing in your use with engaging working memory games (I have personally seen the benefits of this).
     
  19. gl00m

    gl00m Newbie

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    Re: Ketamine brain damage/ after effects/ harm reduction

    That's in interesting point. Certainly, the main appeal of ketamine for me is the way in which it seems to block or sever the normal routes of cognition so that you have to almost start afresh or temporarily rewire yourself in order to understand your environment (and your memories). I love that rebuilding processes where you gradually piece together the links and commonalities between alien objects and events until eventually you return to a 'normal' functional level. This is not dissimilar to the basis or a lot of logic games and mnemotechnic procedures I think. I can see how the two could work in conjunction.
     
  20. gnyt08

    gnyt08 Newbie

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    Re: Ketamine brain damage/ after effects/ harm reduction

    i hate to bring back any bad memories of you being spiked with ketamine but a friend of mine was forced and it was injected in the anal. He's in the hospital right now and its day 5 already after he was drugged.

    i have a lot of questions but we can start with, the length of time when you were under ketamine was how long?

    please