THURSDAY, May 25, 2023 (HealthDay News) — From 2017 to 2022, the number of seizures of illicit ketamine and weight of ketamine seized increased, according to a study published online May 24 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Joseph J. Palamar, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the New York University Grossman School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues examined seizures of illicit ketamine in the United States from 2017 to 2022 as a measure of ketamine availability for nonmedical use.

The researchers identified 873 ketamine seizures between 2017 and 2022, weighing a total of 1,852.4 kg. The highest numbers of seizures were reported in Tennessee, Florida, and California (14.9, 12.9, and 8.4 percent, respectively), with the greatest weight seized in Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and New York (844.1, 154.3, and 132.6 kg, respectively). From 2017 to 2022, the number of seizures increased from 55 to 247 (349.1 percent increase) and the total weight of ketamine increased from 57.8 to 703.3 kg (1,116.4 percent increase).

“These data suggest increasing availability of illicit ketamine,” the authors write. “Prevention and harm reduction efforts are needed to protect the public as nonmedical use may continue to increase in tandem with increased media coverage and therapeutic use.”

Two authors disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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