Ketamine is an FDA-approved medication that can help with various conditions, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although it was originally developed as an animal tranquilizer, ketamine has been shown to have potent antidepressant effects in humans too. For many people who are struggling with addiction, whether their substance of choice is alcohol or drugs like heroin, ketamine therapy may be the best way to kickstart a recovery program.
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic, meaning it can make an individual feel disconnected from their body. It’s sometimes referred to as the “date rape drug,” although that isn’t accurate, it’s popular among people who use club drugs because it produces a similar type of high.
Ketamine is a drug used for general anesthetics and can help those who are struggling with drug addiction and mental health issues. Unlike many other drugs, ketamine doesn’t produce much of a euphoric feeling in users; however, it does have hallucinogenic effects at higher doses which can be enjoyable for some people, and dangerous for others. According to the National Library of Medicine, some people say ketamine makes them feel like they’re dreaming while they’re awake. This could be one reason why it’s been used recreationally since the 1960s when it was first synthesized by scientists working on trying to create new types of general anesthetics. The medicine was meant specifically for putting patients under by taking away their conscious awareness.
How Does Ketamine Work?
Since ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic, it can be used to block pain and induce sedation, making it ideal for short-term pain relief. The drug was originally developed in the 1960s by Parke-Davis Laboratories, who intended to use it as an intravenous anesthetic during surgery. But in 1970, after the FDA approved ketamine’s use as an animal tranquilizer, Parke-Davis ceased production of ketamine and switched its focus to manufacturing other products, namely Valium.
Ketamine works by blocking NMDA receptors in the brain, receptors that transmit glutamate and help regulate basic cognitive functions like perception and memory retention. When these receptors aren’t functioning properly due to being blocked by ketamine molecules, this results in what many people experience as hallucinations: vivid visual or auditory fantasies not based on reality but rather existing only inside your own mind’s eye or ear. These hallucinations are often accompanied by feelings of euphoria or numbness.
Will Ketamine Help Me Overcome Addiction?
Ketamine is effective for treating addiction in two ways. First, it can help you cope with cravings and withdrawal symptoms. For example, if you’re struggling with opioid addiction, like heroin or prescription painkillers, ketamine may help relieve some of the physical pain that comes from withdrawal symptoms.
Second, ketamine may also help you fight your cravings by changing how your brain responds to drug cues or other triggers that make you want to use drugs again. Studies have found that when people are receiving ketamine treatment for addiction issues like alcoholism, they’re more likely to stay sober. They’re less likely to experience strong urges when they encounter triggers related to their substance abuse problem, like being around people who drink a lot.
You can use ketamine safely in a clinical setting. However, it’s not safe to use ketamine recreationally or outside of a doctor’s office. Recreational use of ketamine can lead to severe health issues. The good news is, with the help of a licensed professional, you’re not likely to overdose on ketamine. It takes a very large amount of ketamine to cause an overdose. But if you do take too much and overdose, the symptoms can be severe and can lead to death. Ketamine is considered a Schedule III controlled substance under the Controlled Substance Act. It can be dangerous if used in high doses and can cause serious side effects to those that use it without a doctor’s supervision.
Will My Insurance Pay For IV Ketamine Therapy?
Even though ketamine therapy is not covered by insurance, some clinics offer a discount to cash-paying patients. Before you make an appointment, it is important to check the policy of your insurance provider. If they do not cover intravenous (IV) ketamine treatments, you should contact your doctor and ask for a referral. Most clinics will require one before they administer treatment.
If you have any questions about ketamine treatment and how much it will cost, it is best to speak with a doctor at the clinic or center that offers IV ketamine infusions in advance of scheduling an appointment. Many centers offer free consultations so that individuals can learn more about their services and what types of payment plans are available if needed.
Ketamine therapy is a popular treatment for a variety of reasons, including its effectiveness in alleviating depression and PTSD. However, not everyone is a good candidate for ketamine therapy.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with depression or PTSD or struggling with an addiction, talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of ketamine therapy before making any decisions. If you decide that ketamine treatment may be right for you, it’s important to note that this treatment isn’t a cure-all, there is still a lot of work to be done to combat your addiction and mental health. We want to help you on this journey.
If you or someone you love is struggling with their mental health or addiction, please reach out to us so we can help you get the help you need. Please call today at, (949) 647-4090.
Melody is a highly skilled proactive clinical administrator, with more than 17 years of experience serving the community in the behavioral health field.
Her clinical management career started in 2011 as a compliance manager and program director. In 2018, she became an executive as chief clinical officer (CCO). She is a seasoned licensed marriage & family therapist.