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NCJ Number: 201371 Find in a Library
Title: Ketamine Injection Among High Risk Youth: Preliminary Findings From New York City
Journal: Journal of Drug Issues  Volume:32  Issue:3  Dated:Summer 2002  Pages:893-906
Author(s): Stephen E. Lankenau; Michael C. Clatts
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 14
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the findings of a study on ketamine injection among youth in New York City.
Abstract: Ketamine, also known as Special K or K, is a synthetic drug commonly consumed by high-risk youth. It produces a range of experiences including sedation, dissociation, and hallucinations. Ketamine is typically sniffed but a small sample of ketamine injectors (25) were interviewed to highlight risks associated with this emerging type of injection drug use. Ketamine injectors use a different series of injection practices and different types of paraphernalia compared to other types of injection drug use, such as heroin. Intra-muscular injections were more common than intravenous injections; injection groups were often large; multiple injections within a single episode were common; bottles rather than cookers were shared; and the drug was often obtained for free. Ketamine injection practices may pose new or different kinds of injection risks, such as the spread of infectious disease. The findings suggest that the drug injection practices among ketamine injectors place themselves at risk for blood-borne pathogens, such as HIV, HBV, and HCV. The majority of the youths in this sample had injected other drugs prior to ketamine injection initiation, but a large proportion began their injection drug use career with ketamine. The availability and supply of ketamine, which varies over the course of a year, may be an important factor in explaining the transition from ketamine injection to other injection drug use. The involvement in the street economy -- homelessness, drug dealing, and sex work -- was common among this sample of young ketamine users. A large proportion of users did not combine ketamine with other drugs. The youths in this study largely reported injecting ketamine in settings other than clubs or raves. More studies are needed to gain additional understanding into the risks and experiences connected to injecting ketamine. 1 figure, 1 table, 13 references
Main Term(s): Designer drugs; Drug research
Index Term(s): Adolescent chemical dependency; AIDS/HIV transmission; Controlled Substances; Drug effects; Drug sources; Toxic reactions
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