Breaking: K-Hole Affects the P-Hole

Breaking: K-Hole Affects the P-Hole

“Gives a fuck,” say students

A clinical correspondence in the New Zealand Medical Journal has revealed that recreational ketamine use can lead to irreversible bladder damage. In other words, too many keys of ket can lead to pee problems in the future. 

Ketamine Bladder Syndrome (KBS) includes a range of conditions such as cystitis (bladder infection), increased urinary frequency and urgency, incontinence, or blood in the urine (gulp). KBS was first recorded in 2007 and has been documented in over 25% of recreational ketamine users by the Global Drug survey. In layman's terms, KBS is caused by the metabolised ketamine damaging the bladder and causing inflammation. This has effects on bladder control and can narrow the tube between the kidneys and the bladder. 

There’s no standard treatment for KBS, but reduction in ketamine consumption has proven to be successful for early KBS and prevent long term damage. Critic Te Ārohi spoke to ket-fiending students about the news, with findings revealing that a weird number of ket users are med students already clued up on the NZMJ findings – putting their degree to use the only way they can. 

Med student Eric* uses ketamine recreationally every few months. He said that he’s found that he and all of the boys can't pee at all (Critic hopes this was an exaggeration). He determined that his use of ketamine in combination with gear on big nights out had been the root cause. Asked whether this finding from the NZMJ would affect the way he took ketamine, Eric said, “Yeah probably, that and the massy comedowns […] I won't be taking it for a decent while, if at all again.”

In fourth-year Samantha’s* experience with ket, she said she’s never personally experienced any bladder related issues with ketamine. But she did tell Critic she had seen a TikTok of a girl who got addicted to ketamine and had to pee all the time. Nonetheless, Samantha wasn't too worried about this happening to her. We tried to verify Samantha’s claims by searching for “ketamine addiction” on Tiktok, but it turns out they don’t like that very much.

Vera* is a third-year student and former regular recreational ket user. She’s taken it six times this year, describing her ketamine usage as irregular. This is compared to last year when she would take it weekly. Vera reported an increased frequency of urination during periods of regular usage, but it wasn’t serious enough to make her seek medical attention. When asked for her response to the NZMJ article, she said she had “already looked into it and was not keen on those long term effects.”

*Names changed.

This article first appeared in Issue 11, 2024.
Posted 5:28pm Saturday 11th May 2024 by Phoebe Lea.