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Emergence of novel ketamine consumption patterns in Latin America and the Caribbean?

Recent studies and laboratory reports from Argentina and Colombia indicate that novel forms of ketamine consumption, particularly concomitant use of ketamine in combination with other substances, might have emerged and seizure amounts of ketamine in Latin America and the Caribbean seem to be on the rise. In total, in 2019, 319 kg of ketamine were seized in the region, the largest annual amounts being reported by Argentina and Chile.

Photo: ¨Kitty flipping¨(Mix of Ketamine with MDMA) in Colombia, contributed by Grupo de Química, Fiscalía Nacional de la Nación, Colombia

While ketamine is an essential medicine and has been widely used in human and veterinary medicine, its non-medical use can lead to severe adverse health effects. For more information on this topic, please see the latest issue of the Global SMART Newsletter for Latin America and the Caribbean in English and Spanish.


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For more information, please see:

UNODC, Global Synthetic Drug Assessment – Regional Overview Americas (November 2020).

World Health Organisation, Fact file on Ketamine (March 2016).

UNODC, ‘Pink cocaine’ and online drug sales discussed in new Global SMART Newsletter (October 2019).


The activities of the Global SMART Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean are supported by the Government of Canada

***The Spanish translation of this news item is made possible thanks to a collaboration with OAS/CICAD, a partner of the UNODC EWA.***

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