With fancy names like Special K, Vitamin K or Kit Kat, ketamine is a popular street drug among substance abusers in Asia. Ketamine first appeared on the recreational drug scene in the mid-1970s, mainly in the United States when it was discovered that a small dose of the anaesthetic induces hallucinations and a sense of disconnect between the body and mind. In 2006, it was further discovered that ketamine could be used off-label to treat severe mood disorders like depression.
Yet, questions remain over the use of ketamine for treatment-resistant depression (TRD) therapy. Could the widespread use of ketamine turn it into a health hazard?
Tan Teck Boon is Research Fellow and Coordinator of the Science and Technology Studies Programme (STSP) in the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Nandhakumar Gunasekaran is Senior Analyst in STSP.
Last updated on 22/03/2018