Communication Difficulties Cited by Users of Ketamine

Article excerpt

CORONADO, CALIF. -- The top three perceived benefits of ketamine use are decreased stress levels, dissociation from daily life, and connectedness with other people, results from a Canadian survey suggest.

Meanwhile, the top three perceived adverse side effects include communication difficulties, difficulty with speech articulation, and nosebleeds from snorting.

"Our study highlights several potential adverse effects of ketamine use that have not been frequently reported or otherwise investigated," Dr. Tim Guimond and his associates wrote in a poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.

"Abdominal pain and communication problems have rarely been cited in case reports and reviews, and yet appear with high frequency in this study. Further, some specific adverse events ... appear with greater frequency among frequent ketamine users and may help identify problems related to use."

The researchers conducted an Internet survey of 226 ketamine users who were recruited by the Toronto Raver Information Project, which provides on-site harm reduction education and support to youth who attend raves in the area.

The mean age of the study participants was 22 years, and more than half (54%) were men, reported Dr. Guimond, a psychiatrist at the center for addiction and mental health at the University of Toronto. Of the 226 survey respondents, 77 were frequent ketamine users (defined as using once per week or more), whereas the remainder (149) were infrequent users. …


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