Ketamine Use Could Lead To Major Prison Time In U.K. | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Ketamine Use Could Lead To Major Prison Time In U.K.

A rash of 20- and 30-somethings being treated for the long-term effects of abusing Special K has led the British government to crack down.


Photo via Shutterstock

By McCarton Ackerman


| Share

The club drug ketamine, otherwise known as “Special K,” could land British users of the drug some serious jail time. A new law proposed by government advisers recommends that ketamine, otherwise known as a hallucinogenic horse tranquilizer, be upgraded from a Class B substance to a Class C. If this is approved, ketamine users could receive up to five years in prison and dealers could face up to 14 years in jail.

The government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) hasn’t reviewed ketamine since 2004, but it was banned as a recreational drug in 2006. ACMD chairman Professor Les Iversen said that some college-aged ketamine users needed to have their bladders removed because of their addiction to the drug, which can cause pain and frequent urination.

The issue isn’t limited to 20-somethings, though. A clinic in London reported that it was mainly adults in their thirties being treated for the long-term health effects of club drugs. “These are people who have used club drugs recreationally, often without a problem, for years," said Dr. Owen Bowden-Jones, who founded the Club Drug Clinic in London. "Slowly their problems have escalated to the point they have run into significant difficulty. The harms we are now seeing, you wouldn’t normally associate with club drugs." 

Approximately 50 people are being treated each month and demand for the service is so high that a second location in London was opened. However, not all of the effects of ketamine are negative; research released in January 2012 showed it could provide immediate relief from symptoms of depression.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
Normies React to the 12 Steps

"I think admitting to having a problem in general is the right first step, but to admit powerlessness is unhealthy. .. I think admitting powerlessness is more harmful because it doesn't help. Admitting that you want and need help is more useful after admittance."

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv