“Y’all be careful!” would be the most important first words that we would say to you if you are considering Ketamine treatment. I recently had the unsettling experience of holding a trusted psychiatric journal in one hand and an Austin area new Ketamine treatment center brochure in the other. In one hand the journal talked about how Ketamine may work like a narcotic and the need to be very careful sorting out Ketamine’s possible benefits for our emotional well being. In my other hand, the Ketamine clinic postcard advertised the use of Ketamine for depression, anxiety, PTSD, stress, and more.
As a medical provider I have often been labeled a “late adopter” of new medicines. That means, I don’t like to try the “latest and greatest” as soon as it is released and I’m even more cautious when the chance to “do harm” exists. Slow careful “adopting” of drugs that can be abused are ones I want to be particularly careful with. Ketamine has a history of being abused. Psychiatrist need to be careful with medications in this group. Not to mention, we are in the middle of a staggering national crisis with drugs like oxycontin. The differences I was seeing in my two hands needed further investigation.
I thought a three part blog might be a great place to look at these differences together. Sorting through what we know about ketamine starts with we know about who/how/when ketamine can help help with depression. the second part plans to see how addictive is Ketamine and what ways can it hurt you. I’ll wrap up the last blog with my thoughts on the current safety and pathway to safe use of Ketamine.