Why would anyone ever take ketamine?

Party drug affects memory

London - Frequent use of ketamines, a drug popular with club-goers, has been linked to memory problems. A team from University College London performed a series of memory and psychological tests on 120 people. Frequent users did poorly on remembering names, conversations, and patterns. Previous studies suggested the drug could cause kidney and bladder damage. Details of the study were published in the specialist magazine Addiction.

Ketamine or ecstasy

Ketamine acts as a stimulant and causes hallucinations. It is becoming increasingly popular with club-goers, especially as an alternative to ecstasy. Another reason is that the price has fallen in recent years. A gram currently costs around £ 20 in the UK, half the price of cocaine. The drug became illegal three years ago. It is currently classified as class C. Nevertheless, its use as an anesthetic and tranquilizer for horses is still permitted.

For the current study, the participants were divided into five groups. One group took the drug every day, another once or twice a month. There was also the group of previous users, people who used other drugs and those who did not use drugs. All took a series of memory tests and were re-examined after a year.

Celia Morgan's team showed that those who frequently consumed ketamine performed significantly worse in the tests. They made twice as many mistakes. It also showed that performance deteriorated over the course of a year. No significant differences could be found in the other groups.

Delusions and conspiracy theories

Everyone who used the drug had unusual beliefs or mild delusions. According to the questionnaire, this included, for example, conspiracy theories. The study also raises concerns about the risk of addiction. Hair samples from the irregular users showed that the amount had doubled within a year. Morgan pointed out that the UK has seen greater growth in ketamine use than any other drug. Young people are particularly affected. Meanwhile it is the drug of the party goers. (pte)