Mon, 19 Sep 2005
Philippine Star (Philippines)
PhilSTAR Daily Inc. 2005
(63-2) 527- 5820
Philippine Dangerous Drugs Board http://www.ddb-ph.com
Ketamine, which is becoming increasingly popular as a party drug among
young Filipinos, has been classified as a "dangerous" substance by the
Dangerous Drugs Board ( DDB ), Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas said yesterday.
Gullas said his office has received a copy of DDB Regulation No. 5,
which reclassified ketamine from a "classified" substance to a
"dangerous" drug. The DDB order will take effect on Oct. 1, he said.
"We welcome the new DDB order as a timely and responsive policy
intervention, in light of the numerous reports concerning the
widespread use of ketamine in rave parties and dance clubs, just like
the designer drug ecstasy," he said.
According to Gullas, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration
( DEA ) classifies ketamine as a "date-rape drug" because it produces a
dose-related progression of effects from dreamy intoxication to
delirium, accompanied by the inability to move, feel pain or remember
what has occurred while under the drug's influence.
The US DEA, which classified ketamine as a controlled substance in
1999, said ketamine has the same potential as a date-rape drug as
flunitrazepam, otherwise known as Rohypnol or roofies, and
gamma-hydroxybutyrate. All three drugs can be surreptitiously mixed
into a victim's drink.
Ketamine - also known as "jet," "special K," "green K," and "cat
valium," - comes either as a clear liquid that can be injected or
mixed with drinks or as a powder that can be smoked. Liquid ketamine
is sold from P1,000 to P5,000 per vial, Gullas said.
At higher doses, a user may feel like he is floating away from his
body. This sensation is often referred to as entering a "K-hole" and
has been compared to a near-death experience.
Gullas said the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency found that some
clandestine laboratories have begun mixing methamphetamine
hydrochloride or "shabu" with ketamine to produce a designer drug
which combines the effect of a stimulant with a hallucinogenic sedative.
Last May, police seized some 6.8 kilos of ketamine worth P34 million
from a clandestine shabu laboratory in Quezon City. Gullas said that
based on police reports, the laboratory was producing shabu laced with
ketamine for export to Hong Kong.
Gullas said that once the DDB order takes effect, the importation,
distribution, sale and prescription of ketamine will be rigorously
restricted and supervised by the agency. Only veterinarians with
special licenses may prescribe ketamine in monitored and controlled
He said that so far, the only known black market source for ketamine
is from the illegal diversion of supplies from manufacturers,
distributors and veterinary clinics.