handcuffs.JPGA local doctor was arrested at San Francisco International Airport today on a narcotics charge, a San Mateo County sheriff’s detective said.

Dr. Keith Loring, 47, was taken into custody at the airport and booked into San Mateo County jail on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, Detective Ken Owen said.

Loring, who had arrived at SFO from Burbank, allegedly admitted to being in possession of the drug ketamine, Owen said. A bag containing drug paraphernalia was found on Loring’s seat on the plane, he said.

Owen identified Loring as a trauma physician at San Francisco General Hospital, but hospital spokeswoman Rachael Kagan said Loring only works at the hospital part-time and could not confirm he works in the emergency room.

She said he is a “courtesy physician” at San Francisco General but that it is not his primary place of employment.

Loring’s LinkedIn profile states he is a regional medical director for CEP America, which identifies itself on its website as one of the country’s largest providers of emergency department management and staffing.

His profile on the CEP website states he is vice chief of staff at St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco, and that he divides his clinical practice equally between St. Mary’s, St. Francis Memorial Hospital and San Francisco General.

Ketamine, also known as “Special K,” has become a popular club drug and is common at raves, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. It comes in a clear liquid or powder form and can be injected, consumed in drinks or added to smokable materials.

It is used as a dissociative general anesthetic for human and veterinary use, according to the DEA. Higher doses can create an “out of body” sensation.

The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office declined to release additional information about the circumstances of Loring’s arrest.

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