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Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer > > Drug Crime > Enter Wonk, A New Trend Involving A Not Especially New Drug

Enter Wonk, A New Trend Involving A Not Especially New Drug


Ketamine is a schedule III controlled substance, which means that it has legally accepted uses in medicine but also carries considerable potential for abuse; other pharmaceutical drugs in this category include anabolic steroids, suboxone (a combination of an opioid and naloxone, used to treat opioid use disorder), and some stimulants used as treatments for obesity.  Today, it is often used in anesthesia, because it produces a dissociative state, where the patient is unaware that the surgical procedure is happening, but it does not suppress heart rate and breathing as much as some other anesthesia drugs do.  It was first synthesized in 1962 as an alternative to older anesthesia drugs that had hallucinogenic effects more pronounced than those of ketamine.  Recently, ketamine is being studied for additional medical applications, and it has also gained popularity as a recreational drug in a variety of contexts.  If you are facing criminal charges related to illegal possession of ketamine, contact a Pittsburgh drug crimes lawyer.

Ketamine: A New Frontier in Mental Healthcare or Another Silly Fad?

From a medical perspective, ketamine has attracted the interest of researchers who are investigating its potential for management of notoriously difficult to treat conditions, including chronic pain, major depressive disorder that does not respond to conventional antidepressant drugs, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and drug addiction.  Other substances previously considered recreational drugs, including cannabis and psilocybin mushrooms, have also gained a number of supporters in the medical community, with public opinion on medical cannabis today a far cry from what it was a generation ago.

Meanwhile, the dissociative effects of ketamine make it a sought-after recreational drug.  The dissociative, trance-like state that some users feel after taking ketamine is sometimes called the “K hole.”  Last year, journalists had a field day describing the aesthetic of the new generation of recreational ketamine users as “minion chic,” for the drug’s supposed induction of a euphoric stare that the user is unable to describe in words.  Recreational ketamine is also famous for its many routes of administration.  In a medical setting, it is almost always given intravenously or by injection, but in a recreational context, it can also be taken orally or intranasally.

In the News

In March 2023, 12 students at a school in Philadelphia became ill after drinking grape juice that had been mixed with a drug.  The students ranged in age from 12 to 16, and two of them suffered effects serious enough that they required hospitalization.  News reports originally published suspicions that the substance that caused the students’ illness was an opioid, but later testing determined that the substance was ketamine.  Ketamine mixed with a beverage is sometimes referred to as “wonk.”  News reports did not indicate whether anyone received criminal charges in relation to the incident.

Contact Gary E. Gerson About Drug Crime Cases

A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are facing criminal charges for possession or distribution of ketamine.  Contact the law offices of Gary E. Gerson in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania about your case.




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