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Ketamine 'should be a Class B narcotic'

ketamine should be upgraded to a Class B substance, Government advisers have said.

The drug, a powerful anaesthetic, is currently rated Class C but the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) has recommended that it should be reclassified because of the physical and psychological harms it causes in users.

Earlier this year, ACMD chairman Professor Les Iversen warned that ketamine users as young as 20 are having to have their bladders removed due to heavy consumption of the party drug.

Originally designed as an anaesthetic and tranquilliser, often used on horses, ketamine was banned as a recreational drug in 2006.

An estimated 120,000 people used the drug recreationally in England and Wales during 2012/13, figures suggest.

The council said: "Although there is limited evidence of ketamine misuse causing social harm, evidence of physical harm (mainly chronic bladder toxicity but also an increase in acute toxicity) has increased."

If the drug is upgraded to Class B, people caught with it in their possession could face up to five years in prison and ketamine dealers could be jailed for up to 14 years.

l Drugs worth around £40,000 have been seized in a police operation.

Officers recovered the Class B drugs, including cannabi,s from a house in Macduff, Aberdeenshire.

A 38-year-old man and a woman aged 37 have been charged following the operation yesterday.

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