Belfast Telegraph

Horse tranquilliser is leaving trail of misery

By Aaron Tinney

It is seen as a drug of choice for young clubbers and has been called 'the new ecstasy'.

Yet Caitlin White is rumoured to have been a regular user of the pinkish-white powder Ketamine, so powerful it is used as a horse tranquilliser by vets.

Two sources, with links to the teenager, told the Belfast Telegraph that Caitlin took the substance.

One said: "Caitlin was taking Ketamine with friends and it left them in a state when they did it."

The sources did not want to be named.

Results on Caitlin's post-mortem examination may not be returned for weeks.

Chief inspector Joe McGinn confirmed one line of inquiry into the sudden death was "a possible link to drugs".

Ketamine is available for as little as £6 per gram and as well as being referred to as 'the new ecstasy', it is also dubbed Special K, Kit Kat, Cat Valium, Dorothy and Vitamin K.

Users say taking it transports them to a profoundly different mental state that leads to them laughing, hallucinating and falling over uncontrollably.

The high has been called 'K-Holing' and YouTube hosts many videos of teens out of control on the drug.

It can be hard to detect a Ketamine addict as the high lasts around two hours and does not result in a very severe comedown. Although it is an anaesthetic, at low doses it raises the heart rate and when used with alcohol it can lead to breathing difficulties.

Long-term abuse is known to irreparably damage the bladder, resulting in agonising urinary problems and can seriously impair the memory.

It was classified as a Class C drug in 2006, which could lead to a two-year prison sentence for possession and up to 14 years in prison for supplying the drug.

But criminalisation has had little effect, with surveys showing millions of teens have used the drug.

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