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Muetzelfeldt L, Kamboj SK, Rees H, Taylor J, Morgan CJ, Curran HV. 
“Journey through the K-hole: phenomenological aspects of ketamine use”. 
Drug Alcohol Depend. 2008 Jun 28;95(3):219-29.
Although recreational use of the dissociative anaesthetic drug ketamine is currently increasing, little is known about the phenomenological aspects of its use. We therefore designed a structured interview to examine initiation experiences, positive and negative effects of ketamine use, and concerns about the drug and its long-term effects. Ninety participants 30 frequent users, 30 infrequent 'recreational' users and 30 ex-users who had abstained from use for at least 3 months were interviewed and reported drug use was verified by hair sample analysis. The most appealing aspects of ketamine for two-thirds of users were 'melting into the surrounding', 'visual hallucinations', 'out-of-body experiences' and 'giggliness'. Unappealing effects for half of users were 'memory loss' and 'decreased sociability'. Frequent ketamine users expressed more concerns than other groups about long-term effects on physical health problems, especially K-cramps and cystitis, whereas ex-users were more concerned about mental health problems. Addictive/dependent patterns of behaviour were also a concern: the majority of frequent users reported using the drug without stopping until supplies ran out and the mean increase in dosage in this group was six-fold from initiation to current use. We have identified specific health issues which seem uniquely related to ketamine use. Additionally, the dependence on ketamine frequently reported by users may be a cause for concern as its popularity grows and substance misuse services should be made aware of this when clients present in the future.

Key Words: Ketamine Urinary Health
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