Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drug Use: Effects of ketamine (K) on users

Date:
November 20, 2009
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
The first ever large-scale, longitudinal study of ketamine users has been published. With ketamine use increasing faster than any other drug in the UK, this research showing the consequences of repeated ketamine use provides valuable information for users and addiction professionals alike. Heavy ketamine users were impaired on several measures, including verbal memory.

The first ever large-scale, longitudinal study of ketamine users has been published online November 16 in the journal Addiction. With use of ketamine (also commonly known as "K" and "Special K") increasing faster than any other drug in the UK (British Crime Survey, 2008), this research showing the consequences of repeated ketamine use provides valuable information for users and addiction professionals alike.

Related Articles


For the study, researchers from University College London followed 150 people over a year to see if changes in their ketamine use could predict changes in their psychological well-being, memory and concentration. Of these 150 people, 30 were taking large quantities of the drug nearly every day, 30 were taking it 'recreationally' (once or twice a month), 30 were former users, 30 used illicit drugs apart from ketamine and 30 did not use any illicit drugs.

The authors found that the heavy ketamine users were impaired on several measures, including verbal memory. Short term memory and visual memory in this group decreased over the year as ketamine use increased. These individuals also performed more poorly overall on verbal memory, displaying symptoms such as forgetfulness and experiencing difficulty recalling conversations and people's names.

The amount of increase in ketamine use over the course of one year was also a source of concern. Hair analysis showed that ketamine levels among recreational users doubled at follow-up compared to initial testing, a pattern seen with other addictive drugs. Ketamine levels in the frequent using group did not change across the year, but this group was already using up to ten grams per day at initial testing.

Interestingly, the recreational ketamine users and ex-ketamine users did not differ from non-drug-taking controls on memory, attention and measures of psychological well-being, suggesting that occasional ketamine use does not lead to prolonged harms to cognitive function and that any damage may be reversed when people quit using the drug. However, all groups of ketamine users showed evidence of unusual beliefs or mild 'delusions', with these being greatest in the frequent users and least in ex-users (i.e. it appeared dependent on the amount of the drug used). It is not clear to what extent this is a pre-existing difference in ketamine users, something that develops from using the drug or a mixture of both.

Says lead author Dr. Celia Morgan: "These findings have implications for the growing number of ketamine users in the UK as well as addiction professionals who may encounter increasing numbers of ketamine dependent users. These findings suggest these frequent ketamine users will be impaired, albeit transiently, in a variety of psychological domains."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Drug Use: Effects of ketamine (K) on users." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091116085051.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2009, November 20). Drug Use: Effects of ketamine (K) on users. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091116085051.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Drug Use: Effects of ketamine (K) on users." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091116085051.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) Model schools are rethinking how they engage with the community to help enhance the lives of the students and their parents. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Rooftop Comedy (Jan. 26, 2015) A man in Texas saved every penny he found for 65 years, and this week he finally cashed them in. Bank tellers at Prosperity Bank in Slaton, Texas were shocked when Ira Keys arrived at their bank with over 500 pounds of loose pennies stored in coffee cans. After more than an hour of sorting and counting, it turned out the 81 year-old was in possession of 81,600 pennies, or $816. And he&apos;s got more at home! Video provided by Rooftop Comedy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins