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Ketamine Casualties Face Bladder Crisis


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A 23 year old British girl who faces an operation to have her bladder removed after becoming addicted to ketamine, said she feels ‘ashamed and dirty’ this week, in an interview with Closer Magazine.


‘Other girls have to pack their lipstick but I have to carry a catheter in my handbag,’ Danielle Watson told Closer, “I’m a totally different person now, my confidence has gone.”


Her experiences matched those of patients attending London the Club Drug Clinic, psychiatrist Dr Owen Bowden-Jones told the Standard, though he said typical clients are late 20s, early 30s clubbers with K complications increasingly an issue.


“One of the most severe side-effects is ‘ketamine bladder’, where the drug causes ulceration, leading to extreme pain and the need to urinate every 10 to 15 minutes,” Dr Owen Bowden-Jones confirmed.


“One problem is that ketamine is an anaesthetic,” he added, “As people reduce their intake, the pain gets worse.”


New ketamine self-help portal says ‘ketamine cystitis (or ketamine bladder syndrome) is a fairly new reported side effect to K use’ and was ‘first documented in 2007’.


“Extreme ketamine use can injure the bladder, causing ulcers (wounds) and fibrosis (stiffening of the bladder walls and shrinkage),” the site warns. “Patients often struggle with urinary frequency, urgency, pressure, pain, incontinence and/or bleeding from the bladder.”


The dire consequences of bladder removal (cystectomy) for men are further outlined by the Christie Foundation in a booklet published online by the NHS cancer specialists.


“When major surgery is carried out, such as a cystectomy operation, the nerves that supply the penis are affected,” the booklet reveals, “This means that the ability to obtain an erection is lost. This effect is usually permanent in most men,” says Christies.










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