The Scientific Committee of the EMCDDA, enlarged with experts from the
Member States and representatives of the Commission, Europol and EMEA,
have considered the health and social risks as well as the possible consequences
of prohibition of ketamine and, in accordance with Article 4 of the
joint action, submit the following conclusions:
6.1. Ketamine is not a new synthetic drug. While it has a significant
therapeutic use, it is also being used in recreational settings.
6.2. The meeting noted the main risks of the recreational use of the drug,
such as psychological dependence, loss of self-control and the risk of
acute intoxication. To date, the use of ketamine has been reported as
associated with mortality or morbidity in a small number of cases.
6.3. An opinion which received strong support at the meeting was that,
as a common minimum, ketamine should be subject to control under
medicines legislation in Member States.
6.4. Another strong opinion expressed at the meeting was that, in addition
to the medicines legislation, stronger control measures to deal with
diversion, trafficking and inadvertent exposure to the drug were necessary.
6.5. The meeting recommends that both the EMCDDA and Europol should
further monitor the manufacture, trafficking, distribution, patterns of use
and health consequences of ketamine, particularly the fatalities and
6.6. The meeting recommends that a study on the possible neurotoxicity of
ketamine in primates should be considered in the context of the fifth
framework research programme of the European Commission.
6.7. The possible options for improving control of diversion should be
discussed with the chemical and pharmaceutical industry in order to
ensure the continued availability of ketamine for medical and veterinary
6.8. The meeting recommends that consideration should be given to how
appropriate information can be disseminated to the most vulnerable risk
Lisbon, 25 September 2000