The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

3002.0: Monday, November 11, 2002 - 9:24 AM

Abstract #44910

Ketamine injection: Strategies for reducing risk

Stephen E. Lankenau, PhD, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 722 W. 168th St., Suite 1040, New York, NY 10032, 212-305-5736,

Parochially known as "Special K," "Vitamin K," or simply "K," ketamine is a conger of phencyclidine (PCP). Used for many years as an anesthetic in emergency and veterinary medicine, ketamine has recently emerged in a non-clinical context as one of several synthetic substances classified as "club drugs." Like other so-called "club drugs," such as MDMA, GHB, and Methamphetamine, most available information about ketamine stems from studies focused on "club drug" environments and populations, notably MSM venues. Much of this data has presumed non-injected modes of administrating ketamine, and HIV risk has been assessed in relation to increased risk for sexual transmission. Recent ethnographic data from New York indicates the previously unrecognized use of injection as a mode of administration ketamine - a practice that is prevalent among diverse sub-populations of high risk youth. Preliminary data indicate the use of an array of drug preparation and injection techniques that may pose increased risk for transmission of blood-borne pathogens, notably HIV-1, HBV, and HCV. Additionally, the non-medical use of ketamine impacts a wide range of functions, including memory, language, and perception, as well as the regulation of emotions, such as fear, anger, and pleasure. In this presentation, we will detail particular risk practices undertaken by youth who inject ketamine - injection settings, injection groups, and drug preparation practices - and offer strategies as how to minimize risk among youth who inject ketamine.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of this presentation, attendees will be able to

    Keywords: Adolescent Health, HIV Risk Behavior

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    Club Drugs: Trends and Harm Reduction

    The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA