UK
10/12/2013 05:53 GMT | Updated 09/02/2014 05:59 GMT

Ketamine 'Should Be Upgraded To Class B' Government Advisers To Recommend

The drug ketamine should be upgraded from a Class C drug to Class B, government advisers are to recommend, with calls for users of the drug to face tougher legal penalties.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs is set to make the recommendation after new evidence revealed the damage ketamine, which is best known by the street names K, Special K and Vitamin K, can have on the bladder.

ketamine

In the most serious cases users have had to undergo surgery to have their bladders removed after taking the popular "club drug".

Long-term users in of the drug told BBC Radio One's Newsbeat of the horrific affects the drug had had on them.

"I have to go the toilet three times an hour," one user said.

"It takes me ages to get started, and it's absolute agony.

"You're writhing in agony. The only thing that takes that away is ketamine. It's sort of like a vicious cycle.

"Ketamine being Class C is completely ridiculous. It's not taken that long for me to completely ruin my bladder."

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Home Office figures released in the summer showed that in the past year about 120,000 people aged 16-59 in England and Wales took ketamine, BBC News reported.

Home Secretary Theresa May asked the Council to review the evidence on ketamine last year amid increased concern about its popularity and potential harm the drug can cause.

It would mean maximum prison-terms for users rising from two to five years.

Other Class B drugs include amphetamines and cannabis.

The reaction to the potential shift of the drug from a Class C rather than a Class B has been mixed on Twitter: