Ketamine infusions therapy is rather controversial, simply because ketamine is a popular street drug these days. While ketamine can be abused as a party drug, it’s been used by medical professionals since the 1960s and is still used today as an anesthetic. Ketamine infusion therapy uses small doses of the drug administered by trained medical professionals in a safe setting, so there is little risk. Even so, falsehoods tend to circle around many mental disorders and treatment options so we’re debunking the 5 most common myths about ketamine infusion therapy.
Ketamine infusion therapy is a newer treatment option out there. It has been granted FDA approval in treating depression, but because it’s so new there are no long-term studies about if it can cause addiction. The good news is that there is no evidence that ketamine infusions create an addiction. In fact, ketamine infusions can even be used to treat substance abuse, particularly opioid addiction. So no, undergoing ketamine infusions won’t increase your risk of addiction.
Well, this isn’t entirely false but it doesn’t paint the whole picture. Ketamine is a drug that induces a trance-like state, with common side effects including psychological reactions like hallucinations. During ketamine infusions patients may experience some of these psychedelic side effects, however, this therapy happens in a safe environment with trained medical professionals so there’s nothing to worry about. While ketamine does have some hallucinatory effects but while that might be the reason it takes recreationally, that’s not the sought after effect for this therapy.
Again, ketamine’s abuse as a recreational drug has convinced people that it’s not a safe medication. Like any medication, there are risks and side effects, especially when not used correctly. Ketamine infusion therapy administers small doses of the drug over a period of time, so the risks are minimal. Patients are also surrounded by medical professionals and monitored at all times so if there is a complication it can be caught and treated immediately. Ketamine is an FDA approved anesthetic and FDA approved for depression treatment, which means the US government has deemed it sage so don’t worry!
It’s sad that people see those with mental illness as “crazy”. It’s a stigma that has stuck for generations. People should never shame others for having a disorder that’s out of their control or when they seek help. Ketamine infusions aren’t just used to treat depression and other mental disorders; it’s also used to treat chronic pain and other disorders.
Ketamine was developed back in the 1960s and was used to medically treat soldiers during the Vietnam War. It was the go-to anesthetic drug of choice for hospitals until morphine was developed. Although it isn’t used as much in civilian hospitals today it’s still used by vets, in combat zones, and in children. It also remains on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, so no, it’s not outdated. It’s still saving lives today.
If you want to learn more about ketamine infusion therapy or think this may be a treatment option you’re interested in feel free to contact us!
Since 2003, the Delray Center for Healing has provided exceptional psychiatric and therapeutic care for mental health, eating, and substance use disorders. To learn more about our philosophy and treatment approach, download our free e-book, “Psychiatry Redefined,” written by our founder and medical director, Raul J. Rodriguez, MD.