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 March 1, 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 March 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

Buzz60 (Feb. 26, 2015) If you&apos;re dealing with anxiety, there are a few foods that can help. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the best foods to tame stress. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Newsy (Feb. 26, 2015) People who sleep more than eight hours per night are 45 percent more likely to have a stroke, according to a University of Cambridge study. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) Washington&apos;s mayor says the District of Columbia will move forward with marijuana legalization, despite pushback from Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) A new study says marijuana is about 114 times less deadly than alcohol. Video provided by Newsy
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