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HIT Seminar Archive

Introduction to Ketamine

Ketamine is a very unusual drug with unique properties that divide the conscious from the unconscious. In the 1970s it attracted enthusiast psychonaughters who explored the spiritual realms or unconscious states accessed through the use of ketamine. In the 1990s a new generation of ketamine takers emerged who used small doses of ketamine to enhance dancing to house music either as an adjunct to ecstasy (MDMA) or on its own. Most recently a new generation has engaged in ketamine with an intensity and frequency that plays up the dark sides of ketamine. Repeated use is also associated with the development of ketamine bladder syndrome and ketamine dependency syndrome, two phenomena not routinely experienced by the first two generations of ketamine users.

This seminar gave participants a grounding in ketamine use and covered the following areas:

  • Ketamine effects and users
  • Management of ketamine casualties
  • Ketamine and chronic health problems (bladders, cramps, dependency)
  • Harm reduction strategies


Mat Southwell

Freelance Researcher and Trainer

Mat has sustained an interest in developing collaborative peer and professional responses to new drugs trends and stimulant drugs. He has a particular interest in ketamine and recently gave evidence to the UK’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs Working Group on Ketamine. Mat is also an experienced drug policy and drugs/HIV global advocate.

HIT Seminar