Party drug ketamine should be upgraded to a Class B substance, Government advisers have said.
The drug, also known as Special K, 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.
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 during veterinary surgery, 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.
Home Secretary Theresa May commissioned the ACMD in March last year to refresh its advice on ketamine, which was last reviewed in 2004.
The council said: "The ACMD recommends that ketamine be controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) as a Class B substance. This was not a unanimous decision but it is a majority recommendation from both the council and its Ketamine Working Group.
"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 since the ACMD recommended ketamine as a Class C substance in 2004."
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.
Other Class B drugs include cannabis, amphetamines, such as speed, and barbiturates.
Users of the club drug need to be made aware of the long-term risk of using the drug, the ACMD said.
Awareness campaigns should also be run at festivals and in nightclubs so users and staff are aware of the effects on users - who are vulnerable to rape, robbery and assault because of the way the drug can make people unaware of their environment.
The Council has also recommended that ministers consider tightening the way the drug is controlled by pharmacies and hospitals.
They said that ketamine is currently listed as "schedule four" among pharmacies and hospitals, which means rather little control, whereas veterinary practices already treat it as a category two drug.
While many hospitals are treating it as a higher schedule drug, the Council has recommended that it should be listed as a "schedule two" drug to ensure it is treated the same way across the board.
They also called for the drug to be delivered in smaller doses so discarded medicines are not misused.
And more research should be conducted to determine the scale of bladder damage brought on by ketamine use, they added.
In a letter to the Home Secretary and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Prof Iversen and Dr Paul Dargan, chair of the ACMD's working group, said: "Ketamine misuse can cause a range of physical and psychological harms.
"There has been an increase in acute ketamine toxicity presentations to hospitals in recent years.
"In addition, there is now good evidence that frequent and heavy ketamine misuse can cause significant toxicity to the bladder, urinary tract and kidneys.
"There are numerous reports of individuals having to have surgery to remove their bladders because of severe ketamine related bladder damage."
As well as physical harm there is "compelling evidence" that misuse of the drug can impact negatively on social skills and family life, they said.