Town's new drug threat

PUBLISHED: 18:22 06 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:45 10 June 2010

MONDAY, OCTOBER 6: A DRUG used by vets to dope horses is thought to be rife in Exmouth as youths turn to its mind-altering and body-numbing affects. A 17-year-old Exmouth youth has told the Journal how use of Class C drug Ketamine is soaring throughout the town and is eas

A DRUG used by vets to dope horses is thought to be rife in Exmouth - as youths turn to its mind-altering and body-numbing affects.A 17-year-old Exmouth youth has told the Journal how use of Class C drug Ketamine is soaring throughout the town and is easily obtainable.It is believed to be changing hands in Exmouth in powder and tablet form for as little as £15 a hit.Street names for Ketamine vary around the country: green K, special K, super K and vitamin K.Exmouth police neighbourhood team leader Sergeant Nick Southern said he was not aware the drug was a specific problem - but urged anyone who was offered Ketamine, or saw it being openly dealt in Exmouth, to get in touch."If any drug, not just Ketamine, is offered, people should report it to us," said Sgt Southern.The youth, who wants to remain anonymous, said Ketamine was being sold to youngsters heading to Exmouth for a night out.He said many youths were hooked on the effects the short-acting but powerful general anaesthetic gave when it depressed the nervous system and caused a temporary loss of body sensation. However, he said going 'K-hole' - the term used when the drug causes a hallucinogenic trip and the body stops working - could last for hours. "Ketamine is everywhere in Exmouth. It's widely available and easy to 'score' with minimal effort," he said. "At the moment, it's probably easier to get than weed (marijuana). You shouldn't be asking who's using it. The question is who isn't using it? It's the mysteriousness of it that attracts people."You can get confused when you are on Ketamine. It makes you very slow and dipsy. It's difficult to walk or lift your limbs. You don't know what's going on. "It's very dangerous if you take too much."When taken, the drug - used when operating on humans and animals - can cause hallucinations, like LSD, and users often feel like they are floating - as though their mind and body has 'separated'.Police said the Class C drug was illegal to possess and supply.Illegal possession of Ketamine could land people with two years in prison or facing a hefty fine. Supplying the drug could result in a 14-year jail sentence and/or an unlimited fine. Users can become psychologically dependant, but not physically hooked - meaning there is a desire to keep taking the drug despite any harm it does.Users often build up a tolerance to Ketamine and need to take increased amounts of the drug to achieve the same results.

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