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Ketamine Is an Essential Medicine, Say Boffins

There's a new campaign to remind people that it's not just vomit fodder for students.

by Carlton Férment
05 September 2016, 11:05am

Loads of fluffy ket. Via Wikipedia user Coaster 420

Great news for the bladderless, colostomy-bag-riddled teens of today: the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists has got their back. The global painkilling group has demanded that ketamine, the tranquilliser most famous for its use on horses and freshers called Toby, should not be placed under United Nations illicit drug restrictions, as it's an essential medicine.

"Ketamine is an essential anaesthetic and painkiller, especially in countries with limited options and poor storage facilities in their hospitals," said WFSA President Dr Jannicke Mellin-Olsen. "Of course there are legitimate concerns about ketamine abuse, and these shouldn't be discounted. However, it also needs to be recognised that there is little to no evidence that abuse occurs in countries where it is the most essential anaesthetic."

China and some other nations want ketamine to be placed under the same restrictions as morphine, but this could have a massively detrimental effect on the safety of surgical procedures in nations without fully developed medical treatment. The World Health Organisation has reviewed the drug a number of times since 2004 and regularly concludes that any international regulation would have a devastating effect. A "Ketamine is Medicine" campaign has been launched.

Ketamine has useful, unique properties in helping post-surgery dizziness and chronic pain. It also has useful, unique properties in helping your mate's little brother sit curled in a ball on a sofa at a house party with his head in his hands falling down a bottomless pit of depersonalisation, thinking he's been talking to himself in the mirror for 40 minutes when he's actually just being ignored by everyone doing cocaine off a breadboard in the kitchen. Would you take these two special things away from people – the relief of a post-surgery pain, or the wobbly vomit of a glowstick-clad reveller in the toilet of a provincial nightclub? You'd have to have a cold, cold heart.

More from VICE:

Kenya's Growing Ketamine Problem

How Ketamine Has Made Its Way Back Into the UK

The Ketamine Secrets of Sega's 'Ecco the Dolphin'

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