Heavy use may shrink bladder capacity, trigger pelvic pain, study finds
SUNDAY, May 30 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term abuse of the recreational drug ketamine, often called "Special K" by the young partygoers who use it, is now linked to a heightened risk for pelvic pain and urinary incontinence.
The finding is based on a 2009 survey conducted by a team of researchers out of Hong Kong. They questioned 66 male and female teen and young adult ketamine users (13 to 25 years old) about their drug experience.
Although almost half said they did not believe they were addicted to the drug, the authors found that those with a two-year plus history of ketamine abuse were subject to an increase both in pelvic pain and the urgent and frequent need to urinate.
Relative to less frequent use, those who took "K" more than five times per week also experienced reduced bladder capacity.
The team, led by Dr. Siu-king Mak, the Hong Kong coordinator of the andrology section with the Hong Kong Urological Association, is slated to report its finding Sunday in San Francisco at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association.
Ketamine is considered one of the so-called "club drugs," due to its popularity in nightlife rave settings. Sometimes also referred to as "vitamin K," ketamine's intended purpose is as a veterinary anesthetic for use in animal surgery.
However, when used recreationally, the "dissociative" anesthetic -- which is chemically related to PCP ("Angel Dust") -- functions as a hallucinogen, and can prompt euphoria, numbness, delirium and a sense of being disconnected from time and space. It can also disturb motor function, trigger high blood pressure and instigate respiratory distress.
Among those surveyed, just over half said they also engage in recreational use of the hypnotic drug "nimetazepam" (brand name Erimin). About 46 percent reported cocaine use, while nearly 40 perce
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