Ketamine has long been used as an anesthetic or tranquilizer. While it can be used for humans, it is more often used as on horses and small animals. It gained popularity among young adults and teens as a party drug because it can be a hallucinogenic drug and a stimulant.
Ketamine is known as K, special K, Vitamin K and even “kiddie smack” because of its popularity among younger users. It is often seen as a party drug because young users use it as at parties because they enjoy the dis-associative affects of it. It distorts thinking and leaves users with an altered sense of reality.
The true reality of ketamine that is becoming all too clear is that there are many dangers of this drug aside from the dangers of overdose. People who use ketamine are in danger of damage to their nasal passages in their nose from snorting ketamine that is similar to the damage that cocaine users have.
Even more alarming is the long term damage to kidneys and bladder that can be caused by ketamine use. Doctors started noticing in 2007 that kidney and bladder damage could be traced back to ketamine use. Frequent ketamine use can lead to ketamine cystitis which causes pain when urination, urinary urgency or frequency, incontinence or even blood in the urine.
The bladder can also develop ulcers or a condition called fibrosis where the bladder walls stiffen and shrink. The kidneys can also be affected. Doctors theorize that the damage is cause because of the way that the body metabolizes ketamine. It is feared that frequent ketamine use can lead to kidney failure later in life.
The dangers of ketamine and substance abuse are not just limited to overdose. Many affects may not show up until later in life. Further studies and investigation is needed to fully understand the negative long term effects of ketamine but by then, the damage to many young adults will already been done.