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Ketamine use up among the young

Last year, one in six young people (between the ages of 18 and 34) that regularly attended dance music events took the drug ketamine that is also known as “kit-kat”. The figures appear in an article published in the daily ‘De Standaard’ and come from a survey on night life and drug use in 5 European cities. The Drugs expert Tina Van Havere told the paper that vets use Ketamine as an aesthetic. However, it can also cause hallucinations.

     

Ketamine is now among the top 4 party drugs of choice. Only cocaine (24%), MDMA/Ecstasy (33%) and cannabis (59%) are more popular among young people that regularly attend dance music events.    

Tim Van Haver was one of the researchers that worked on the study. She told ‘De Standaard’ that the increase in the use of Kit-Kat as a party drug is a recent trend. The drug has existed since the 1960 and is used by vets as an anesthetic for horses.

The drug can cause hallucinations.  

"A user starts tripping after only an average or moderate doze. However, it can also have a dissociative effect whereby the user believes that their spirit has left their body”.

“Ketamine is difficult to dose as it can quickly turn into a bad trip whereby the user starts feeling sick, becomes fearful and disorientated”, Ms Van Haver added.    

However, as recreational Ketamine use is relatively new there are no figures about the negative consequences of its use.

“In the coming years we will have to see what effect mixing it with alcohol or another illegal drug will have”.

Ketamine’s popularity is linked to its relative cheapness. While cocaine currently costs around 50 euro/g, ketamine that is also snorted costs between 30 and 40 euro/gram. Furthermore, it gives the trip effect that party goers are looking for and has in part taken the place of speed that is now less popular than it was 20 years ago.