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Beyond the K-Hole
(Rated as: excellent)
Well it has been some time since a thread that discussed the cognitive effects/pharmacology of ketamine has been entertained. I guess this is a better place than any to start further discussions on recent research that delves into the depths of the "k-hole".
Beyond the K-hole: a 3-year longitudinal investigation of the cognitive and subjective effects of ketamine in recreational users who have substantially reduced their use of the drug.
Morgan CJ, Monaghan L, Curran HV
Addiction. 2004 Nov;99(11):1450-61.
Rationale: Ketamine is a dissociative anaesthetic that is also a drug of abuse. Previous studies have demonstrated persisting episodic and semantic memory impairments in recreational ketamine users 3 days after taking ketamine. However, the degree to which these deficits might be reversible upon reduction or cessation of ketamine use was not known. Objective To follow-up a population of ketamine users tested 3 years previously and examine whether impairments observed 3 days after drug use are enduring or reversible. Methods Eighteen ketamine users and 10 polydrug controls from studies conducted between 3 and 4 years earlier were re-tested on the same battery of cognitive tasks and subjective measures. These tapped episodic, semantic and working memory and executive and attentional functioning. Subjective schizotypal, dissociative, mood and bodily symptoms were also examined and a drug use history recorded. Results The ketamine users had reduced their frequency of use of ketamine by an average of 88.3%. Performance of ketamine users on tasks tapping semantic memory had improved and this improvement was correlated with their reduction in ketamine use. On tasks tapping episodic memory and attentional functioning, ketamine users still showed deficits compared to polydrug controls. Higher levels of schizotypal symptoms and perceptual distortions were exhibited by the ketamine group, although dissociative symptoms were similar to controls. Conclusions These findings indicate that semantic memory impairments associated with recreational ketamine are reversible upon marked reduction of use; however, impairments to episodic memory and possibly attentional functioning appear long-lasting. In addition, schizotypal symptoms and perceptual distortions may persist after cessation of ketamine use. Ketamine users, or potential users, should be aware of the enduring effects of this drug on aspects of memory and subjective experience.
Question (first author): ‘What do you think are the negative long-term effects of ketamine use?’
Answer (participant 10): ‘Well . . . that you end up
locked inside your own head, beating your brain with
Unipolar Mania, It's good for life...
"negative long-term effects of ketamine use?"
The longest time I've done ketamine was about 5 months straight, every day, several times a day, mostly via IM shot and snorting from 100mg to 200mg. Despite all the gut-wrenching, apocalyptical, ultimate doom trips I survived, I'm grateful for the bad and good trips. It brought back the magic of life. I built quite a tolerance to it, and when it came time to lay-off it for a while, the WDs were horrible. If you decide to kick K or some other PCP-analogue, I suggest keeping a lot of beer, benzos, or some other sedative nearby to drown the agony. I've gotten electro-shock therapy a few times, and it kind of reminds me of coming off a K binge in the sense that afterwards it feels like your neurons have been jolted and exploded all over your brain - It takes a while for everything to come back into place. That's definately a downside. I'd have to re-learn certain tasks such as which way to turn the knob to get hot/cold water - very K-tarded, but I recovered. Don't do what I did. Chip on K like you would with H(on the weekend or certain days of the week. You can get away with binging on it for the weekend without getting the sniffles, muscle cramps, etc., but you'll be worn-out and tired.
Love My Country, Fear My Government