HIT is partnering with Mat Southwell from Coact and the #StraightFromTheHorsesMouth ketamine peer support project to deliver a one-day training for practitioners working with people using ketamine called “Living in Dreams, Coping with Reality”. The course is experientially based with participants taking part in a mix of small group work, case studies, and interactive presentations. We will introduce you to harm reduction guidelines, a triage assessment tool and consider the management of ketamine dependency and bladder syndromes.
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.
Ketamine is also an exciting new treatment for depression, alcohol dependency and PTSD. We now have a dual journey with ketamine and managing the negative consequences experienced by the current generation is critical if ketamine is to be used as a mainstream treatment.
The course normally runs from 09:30 – 16:30 with a one-hour lunch break and two 20-minute tea breaks. Participants will receive advance reading to prepare for the course and be introduced to open-source practice tools.
Mat Southwell was one of the first generation of harm reduction workers in the UK. He has a special interest in stimulants contributing to the recent UNODC guidelines on Stimulants and HIV. He has developed a special expertise in developing responses to emerging drug trends using a combination of peer expertise and professional networking.
Mat will be supported by a Peer Trainer from the #SFTHM. #SFTHM is group of the current generation of ketamine users who are developing “A Ketamine Users Guide” which will underpin a peer education programme using private peer webinars or videos to disseminate harm reduction messages through peer networks. This will spread knowledge about the prevention and management of ketamine bladder and ketamine dependency syndromes. This training course is part of comprehensive response to ensure that people who use ketamine are met by understanding and informed drug workers, as the peer support project encourages the many struggling ketamine users to seek help with the deep problems they are experiencing. You can find out more about #SFTHM project in this article from Drink and Drug News. Each course will make a donation to #SFTHM.