Ketamine addiction rising among teens
Tue, 03 May 2011 11:56:55 GMT
British anti-drugs charities say the number of young people admitting they use ketamine at a worrying level has dramatically increased following a ban on mephedrone.
One of Britain's largest specialist drugs and alcohol treatment charities Addaction reported a 68 percent hike in the number of teenagers asking for help on their ketamine addiction over the past year.
According to Addaction the steep rise in the number of teenagers seeking help from 151 to 254 shows young people are turning to ketamine after officials imposed a legal ban on mephedrone in April last year.
Laurie Yearley , an Addaction specialists in Buckinghamshire, shed light on how serious the situation is saying he met two or three people weekly over the past year who used ketamine as a “secondary drug” while he is now admitting six or seven such people but with ketamine as their main drug, the Guardian reported.
"People started using ketamine because it was cheap, but then they went on to mephedrone, which was legal. But when mephedrone was made illegal they went back to ketamine because they said it was like a milder form of mephedrone, which has pretty harsh side effects," Yearley said.
Yearley rooted the problem to the low price of ketamine that could “cost as little as £6 a gram”.
He said the major problem with ketamine addicts is that they have to increase their intake by up to four times over barely a week to receive the same effects.
"A lot of youngsters are snorting the drug because they think they are down there with the big boys who are doing coke. Part of it is an image thing. But if you start using it a bit on Monday and on Tuesday, your tolerance disappears quickly and by Thursday you need to spend £10 to get the same effect and the following week it's £20," Yearley said.
According to health workers, ketamine has a range of physical side-effects for addicts including blood in urine as the drug crystallizes in their bladders.