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The Dangers of Ketamine Bladder Syndrome

Ketamine bladder syndrome is a real risk for those that abuse ketamines. This condition, discovered in China back in 2007, has now become an increasing problem in the UK and elsewhere in the West. Ketamine bladder syndrome can be irreversible and could have a serious impact on a person's life.

What is Ketamine Bladder Syndrome?

Ketamine bladder syndrome (aka ketamine cystitis) affects those with the condition with the need to urinate frequently. It is similar to ulcerative cystitis and it occurs because the bladder has been damaged - ketamine causes structural damage to cells in this part of the body, meaning that the capacity of the bladder is reduced. If the condition is treated early enough, and the sufferer refrains from further ketamine abuse, it is possible to reverse ketamine cystitis. The problem is that most individuals wait until the condition has progressed before seeking help.

The symptoms of ketamine bladder syndrome include:

  • an urgent need to urinate
  • possibility of blood in the urine
  • increased urine frequency, meaning the need to pass water every few minutes
  • a constant pressure in the bladder area, again meaning the need to pass water every few minutes
  • incontinence
  • pelvic pain - most likely to occur when the bladder is full.
Why Do People Abuse Ketamine?

Ketamine is most commonly used as a horse tranquiliser - it is classified as an anaesthetic, but it also has hallucinogenic properties. In recent years it has become a popular recreational drug, appearing to be increasing in popularity all of the time. Users experience a sense of extreme relaxation and euphoria. This drug causes people to feel disassociated from reality and it can trigger intense hallucinations; some have even claimed to have had out of body experiences while using this drug. Ketamine is also known as a date rape drug because of its ability to erase a person's immediate memory.

Ketamine is relatively cheap to buy, and it has become strongly associated with the rave scene; it is often referred to as a 'club drug'. This substance has become fairly easy to purchase in the UK despite the fact that it is illegal, which accounts for its rising popularity.

Other Dangers of Ketamine Abuse

As well as causing ketamine bladder syndrome, this drug is also associated with many other dangers, including:

  • memory loss, which is why it is used as a date rape drug
  • self-harming
  • severe deterioration in mental health - users can become completed disassociated from reality
  • psychosis
  • causing blood pressure to rise to dangerously high levels
  • impaired ability to make good choices
  • long-term memory problems
  • addiction
  • unable to fulfil their work, social, and family responsibilities.

The negative effects of ketamine abuse are less well known than the negative impact of drugs like heroin, which could mean that many assume that this substance is relatively safe. The reality is that even using this substance once could have severe negative consequences. Side effects like ketamine bladder syndrome make this a very dangerous drug and more needs to be done to publicise the risks associated with using it.

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