Drug Experts Warn Of 'Super-Strength Ketamine' On Sale In The UK

Drug testing groups have warned that a dangerous new strain of synthetic ketamine - a much stronger strain than usual, with longer lasting effects - has arrived in the UK.

This follows several people becoming ill after taking what they thought was class B drug ketamine, but was, in fact, a substance known as 2-FDCK.

This is the first time the substance has been found in the UK and has caused concern among drug safety advocates because it is 1.5 times as strong as ketamine and lasts for around three times longer.

The discovery was made after samples were brought to a mobile drug testing centre in Durham run by The Loop - a drug testing group. There are also fears that the drug could currently be being sold as ketamine in Manchester.

Fiona Measham, a criminology professor who is also the director of drug safety testing for The Loop - told the Mirror: "It was first identified in Europe in 2016. It is the first time that this drug has been identified in the UK."

The drug, which is also known as fluorodeschloroketamine, is similar in some ways to the now-banned 'legal highs' and is a chemical derivative known as a 'new psychoactive substance'.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

One report from a 2-FDCK user on drug use/harm reduction site Erowid said: "My room looked like a cartoon. I thought I was dead and I was afraid about this, but then I understood this new way of existing wasn't terrible."

Another concern is that people are unaware that what they are taking is not what they think they have bought. This new substance is thought to be being marketed as ketamine.

The Loop said that they discovered: "2-FDCK (2-fluorodeschloroketamine) sold as ketamine.

"Tested by The Loop in Durham, UK. About 1.5x more potent than ketamine with 2-3x longer duration."

As well as synthetic ketamine, the UK is currently experiencing more incidents involving fentanyl, a synthetic form of heroin.

Fentanyl is much stronger than heroin and has been responsible for many thousands of deaths in the USA.

It is 50 times stronger than morphine and has reportedly killed five people in the UK after they came into contact with skin patches containing the drug. This includes a 15-month-old baby who died in 2015 after getting a patch stuck to her.

This is despite the fact that it is available on prescription in the UK.

The UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MRHA) has issued warnings about the dangers of fentanyl as a result of these cases.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a freelance journalist and LADbible contributor. He graduated from University of London with a BA in Philosophy before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. He has previously written for the M.E.N Group as well as working for several top professional sports clubs. Contact him on [email protected]

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock close comment cursor email facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window phone play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp logoInline safari-pinned-tab Created by potrace 1.11, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2013