Ketamine users' quality of life goes down the toilet

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 August, 2011, 12:00am


Ketamine abusers have weak bladder control even eight months after they quit the drug, according to a university study.

Those who stopped taking the drug are twice as likely to use the toilet than non-users, according to a study published in the latest issue of the Hong Kong Medical Journal.

Three months after they stopped using the drug, former users are likely to urinate more often than others.

On average, those who quit recently use the toilet 10 times daily, compared to 8.3 times for former users who quit for three months or more, and 5.8 times for non-users.

The obstetrics and gynaecology department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong studied 40 female former ketamine users who were referred by social workers between December 2009 and April 2010.

The department found that eight of the women started using ketamine before they were 13; one started when she was nine. None were pure ketamine users, and 34 abused three drugs or more.

Thirty-six of the women often use the toilet and report having the sensation of incomplete urination.

Former users who quit recently use the toilet about once a night on average, compared to 0.8 times for those who quit for three months or more, and 0.2 times for non-users.

Furthermore, ketamine users have smaller bladder sizes. Recent quitters have a capacity of 253.3 millilitres, compared to 274.4ml for former users who quit for three months or more, and 402ml for non-users.

Researchers said the longer the women abused ketamine, the lower quality of life they experienced.

Compared to non-users, users who took ketamine for two or more years are far more irritable, stressed and uncomfortable with their surroundings.

They are also less likely to travel, engage in physical activities and socialise with other people.