(LibertySociety.com) – Ketamine use has been on the rise in recent years, with many prominent celebrities and public figures advocating for its medicinal properties. The drug is commonly used during medical procedures in a controlled environment, such as for anesthesia in humans and at veterinary clinics. It is listed as a Schedule III drug but can cause hallucinations and other dangerous side effects.
With recreational use on the rise, dealers and smugglers are looking for an easy payday. Users pay around $90 for a single gram of the drug. One would-be smuggler will never see the nearly $4 million profit from the 110 pounds of ketamine discovered by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at Detroit Metropolitan Airport on December 13.
An unidentified United Kingdom citizen traveler was sent right back to where he departed from in France after being selected for an additional inspection, upon which the horde of ketamine was discovered and seized. The traveler told CBP that a family member had given him the large suitcases, which contained plastic trash bags “filled with large white crystals.” Agents performed tests on the substance and determined that it was ketamine. John Ammons, who serves as CBP’s acting Port Director, said that the agency’s “drug interdiction mission is vital to protecting” the country and local communities from substances like ketamine.
Ketamine has been in the headlines in recent weeks after “Friends” actor Matthew Perry’s autopsy confirmed that his hot tub drowning was the result of the effects of the drug. He had been receiving ketamine infusions to treat anxiety and depression.
However, the autopsy report stated that his last treatment was a week and a half before his death, indicating that he was likely using the substance illicitly as well. Ketamine causes respiratory depression, which could lead to a loss of consciousness. Some studies have shown positive results using ketamine to treat mental illness, but the risk of developing habitual use is discouraging. Back in October, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released an alert about treating psychiatric disorders with ketamine, listing respiratory depression as one of the main concerns.
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