'Special K' Abuse Linked To Incontinence

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Ketamine, a veterinary anesthetic known recreationally as Special K, has been linked to pelvic pain and urinary incontinence among heavy users.

The Study

Researchers in Hong Kong surveyed 66 young ketamine users in 2009. Almost half of the respondents said they didn't think they were addicted to the drug. Just over half of the respondents reported also using nimetazepam--brand name Erimin--while 46% reported using cocaine and almost 40% reported smoking marijuana.

The researchers found that people who had used ketamine for two or more years were more likely to have pelvic pain and an urgent need to urinate frequently. In addition, taking Special K more than 5 times a week was also associated with a reduced bladder capacity.

Symptoms steadily improved over time among those who stopped taking ketamine.

Why Is This Important?

Ketamine is a popular club drug that causes hallucinations and dissociation. The fact that about half of those surveyed did not consider themselves addicted is troubling, especially in light of these new medical consequences of longterm Special K use. In addition to reducing bladder capacity and causing pelvic pain, the veterinary anesthetic also has dangerous side effects like disruption of motor function, high blood pressure, and respiratory distress.

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