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Ketamine abuse on the rise in Birmingham

15th January 2009

More young people in Birmingham are injecting themselves with horse tranquilliser ketamine to maintain their clubbing “high”, according to a latest report.

DrugScope found clubbers are taking higher doses of the stimulant as a dance drug due to prices falling.

A gram of ketamine – “Special K” or “Raver’s smack” – has dropped in price by a third in three years and costs £20, half the price of a gram of cocaine, the poll found.

Researchers revealed ketamine use was on the rise in nine out of 20 areas surveyed, including Birmingham.

It is backed by the British Crime Survey which last year claimed use was up 10 per cent on 2006/07.

A spokeswoman for the Birmingham City Council-run team that runs drug treatment services said staff were aware of ketamine use.

“It is not normally the primary drug of choice like cocaine but we are aware of the dangers,” she said. “The effects can be more severe when people mix ketamine with alcohol or cocaine.”

In low doses, ketamine is used as a tranquilliser for horses but in recreational doses of up to 200 times the medical dose it can cause heart or lung failure.

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