During the past few months there has been a significant change to drug use by young people.

The current worry is about the increased harmful use of ketamine (also known as k or ket).

Ketamine is an anaesthetic drug initially used in veterinary surgery and more recently in hospitals for minor surgery. If used correctly by skilled medical staff, ketamine can have effective results to reduce pain during medical procedures. They will know how much to use to keep the patients safe. However, much of the ketamine used illicitly is not the same as that used in hospital settings. It may be mixed with other substances (such as cocaine or benzocaine, which is an aesthetic used by dentists) and they may not be able to tell how strong it is.

Some young people are saying that this is becoming addictive and causing them a number of serious physical problems (such as cystitis, blood in their urine, abdominal pains, deterioration of their nose and nasal passages). This is resulting in them having to go to hospital or the doctors to try and get help with these problems.

It is important that young people experiencing these problems stop using immediately and seek medical advice. For some young people this may become a life- long or irreversible condition, meaning they will have serious health problems for the rest of their lives.





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