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Ketamine Drug Problems In Leeds Rise



Ketamine use in Leeds is on the rise again with record amounts of ketamine being seized in the UK at the borders. Over the last year or two ketamine or ket has established itself as one of the top three drugs that young people in Leeds and throughout Yorkshire come to me for treatment, here at Start Recovery.


 The global drug survey 2021 shows how psychedelic drug usage has been rising since 2019, most probably driven by mixed messages from reports of psychedelic drugs being used again in research  for depression and anxiety. The perfect storm of young people being stuck in their rooms over lockdowns watching their favourite YouTuber or  influencer who has been microdosing on magic mushrooms or ketamine. Add  into the mix not  being allowed out to socialise with their friends  and the plentiful supply of class A and B drugs floating around in the UK market at the time and you have an explosion of psychedelic drug use and ketamine problems.


Yes,  evidence is there that ketamine does indeed Help with depression and anxiety in very small controlled doses that are medically clean, in clinical settings and with medically trained individuals  present! This paints a very confusing picture for our youth and teenagers of Leeds who read, view or listen to this information  and can take it as a green light to experiment with ketamine, as they see it as being relatively harmless.  In my opinion, as a drug counsellor and addictions expert, nothing could be further from the truth….. ketamine is a highly addictive, dissociative  drug that can very easily fool young users into thinking that the drug is not doing any harm. Often users will start off taking ketamine when out with friends clubbing, or at friends houses in small groups at weekends.  To start with, users report being able to party and have a good time without having a “hangover”. This enticing lure of ketamine can quickly pull users into the familiar “midweek boost” of picking up ket on a Wednesday and using in order to get you through to the weekend.


Once somebody then shifts up to the next level they can stuck in the cycle of daily or almost daily usage,  you will start to notice  big changes in that person's personality, with a “denial” aspect of which can only be compared to drugs that are perceived to be more problematic such as methamphetamine (crystal meth) or heroin. When I talk about the “denial” aspect,  one can envisage  two stages, or two parts  to denial.  There is denial a) where the individual has accepted that they have a problem and they are engaging with local drug and alcohol services or a counsellor, therefore surely they can say that they are not in denial? Then there is an extra layer of denial,  we'll call that denial b) where the individual can settle back into a cyclic nature of use which becomes like a holding pattern where they may be using a lot less (which is way, way better),  but still nevertheless using, and denying that there is still a problem as they perceive the use to be “in control”. This seems to happen a bit more with Ketamine than any other  substance or addictive behavior. Perhaps it's because if, lets say an individual has a cocaine or alcohol binge once a month, it would usually present itself as being much more devastating to that person than If that binge once a month were on ketamine.

Mental health rapidly declines with daily ketamine users, and loved ones often express that it's like their sons or daughters brains have slowed right down. Stomach and bladder cramps that present after heavy use can be masked by more ketamine use, which users tell me is the only thing that makes the pain go away.



Ketamine is a medication that is used as a horse tranquiliser and anesthetic for humans in severe accidents such as road traffic accidents. It is also sometimes used illegally as a recreational drug. Ketamine use can be dangerous, and it can lead to addiction, bladder problems, and other health problems, Including mental health problems.


There is no safe way to use ketamine as a recreational drug. Using ketamine Can be very dangerous  and it is important to be aware of the risks involved in taking ketamine. 

If you, or someone you know is struggling with ketamine addiction in Leeds, there are resources available to help.


 I have worked with many ketamine users over the last 12 years as a drug and alcohol therapist with a very high success rate. My evidence of an individuals recovery comes from aftercare and follow up communications with my clients. 


You can contact me here at Start Recovery, a drug and alcohol counselling service in Leeds, on  0113 328 0211 or email help@startrecovery.co.uk for more information about ketamine use and our private and discreet drug support services. I see people at my North Leeds treatment room from all over Yorkshire.


About the writer

Mark Franklin is a highly experienced drug and alcohol specialist based in Leeds, Yorkshire, UK. Mark spends his days in one to one meetings with people experiencing drug, alcohol or gambling problems, and runs aftercare yoga classes for men on a weekend. Mark has been working with people with addictions since 2012 and has a level 4 diploma in Substance Misuse Counselling. Mark mainly uses REBT, mindfulness, CBT and the PolyVagal Theory in his practice. Mark has worked in addiction services in London and Yorkshire and in rehabs, secure units, detox units and psychiatric wards (drug induced psychosis), and trained with some of the best addiction specialists in the world, including Gabor Mate and Bessel van der Kolk. Mark is also fully vagal informed having studied at Stephen Porges Polyvagal Institute. Mark helps people who are suffering from SUD (Substance Use Disorder) and AUD (Alcohol Use Disorder), and their families to recover.

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