Rising cases of ketamine users suffering bladder damage

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A rising number of young people in West Yorkshire are suffering irreversible bladder problems as a result of using the drug ketamine, police have warned.

The drug damages the cells lining the bladder, which leads to a reduction in bladder capacity.

There has been a rise in the number of people needing treatment for Ketamine Bladder Syndrome, with a new case in Leeds every three to four months.

Police said 19 people had been arrested for possessing ketamine this year.

Toni Williams, specialty registrar for public health, said: "Up until a few years ago this condition was almost unheard of; however in the last few years we have seen an increasing number of cases in West Yorkshire.

"In Leeds alone, we are seeing a new case requiring hospital treatment on average every three to four months."

Police said the number of people being arrested for ketamine and mephedrone had risen.

In 2010, 33 people were arrested for possessing ketamine, which increased to 41 in 2011 and so far this year there have been 19 arrests.

In 2010, 123 people were arrested for possessing mephedrone. That number increased to 173 in 2011, and so far in 2012 there have been 183 arrests.

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