UCLH expert highlights ketamine danger 

22/07/2011 00:00 

UCLH urologist Dan Wood has been raising awareness of the dangers of ketamine ahead of a review by the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs.

The report, released yesterday, said the animal tranquilliser is now the fourth most popular party drug in the UK.

Dan is keen to raise awareness of the disastrous effects of ketamine on the bladder and one of his patients, Christopher Francis, is helping illustrate the message by speaking of his personal experience which led him from ketamine use to having his bladder removed. His story was featured on Wednesday's BBC News and Dan has been featured in various media, including BBC Breakfast yesterday morning.

Much research still needs to be done into the full extent of the harm caused by ketamine but many regular users complain of bladder problems.

“We don’t know what the long-term harm will be because we’ve only been looking at this over the past few years,” says Dan. “We have also seen kidney damage and liver damage - what we don’t know is whether that is reversible.”

Only last month, the British Journal of Urology International published one of his papers on ketamine use entitled “Recreational ketamine: from pleasure to pain” in which he and his colleagues call on medical practitioners who meet patients presenting with certain symptoms, including painful bladder syndrome, to ask about recreational ketamine use.

For the BBC's full coverage of this story, go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14214695  

Dan Wood 

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