Every year, new scientific research points to ketamine’s potential as an effective antidepressant. Since the 1960s, ketamine has been considered to be a safe and powerful medical intervention for those resistant to conventional frontline treatments for major depression. Today, more than ever, an increasing number of depression patients are turning to ketamine for depression and relief.
Do you want to find out how you can incorporate ketamine into your depression treatment plan? In this guide, our experts break down the latest research on ketamine therapy as a depression treatment. Further, we will describe how ketamine can be safely provided by supervised medical clinics to help you find the relief that you deserve.
Ketamine: The Sleeping Giant
You may have heard of the myriad benefits that ketamine can offer those living with severe depression. At present, roughly 30 to 40 percent of the 13 million Americans suffering from depression symptoms and are resistant to conventional therapies. In other words, millions of our friends and neighbors have no viable method of obtaining relief from their treatment-resistant depression.
Ketamine is an anesthetic and analgesic substance, which means it is used primarily as a painkiller. For over fifty years, ketamine has been used as a popular anesthetic in veterinary medicine. However, ketamine lacks US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, which prevents it from being regulated as a frontline medicine for humans.
Beginning in the early 21st-century, ketamine has been used on human patients at private clinics around the world. Thanks to the popularity of intravenous (IV) infusion methods, ketamine is now regularly available for adults suffering from depression. Consequently, ketamine has provided rapid relief for hundreds of thousands of otherwise distraught patients suffering from severe depression.
Ketamine and Depression
It is no surprise that ketamine has been referred to as “the biggest thing to happen to psychiatry in 50 years” by Scientific American. When administered a single dose of IV ketamine, patients can experience fast-onset results within half an hour.
When you compare ketamine’s remarkably fast onset to the weeks or months that it takes for mainstream antidepressants to take effect and you begin to realize the potential of the drug. By activating parts of the lateral habenula (LHb) region of the brain, ketamine can stimulate the mind in groundbreaking new ways.
Is Ketamine Safe?
When administered under the supervision of a medical professional, ketamine is perfectly safe. However, in recent years ketamine has caught on as a recreational drug due to its painkiller properties. Using ketamine recreationally is illegal and highly dangerous. It is important that those with depression use ketamine only at licensed medical clinics.
Is Ketamine Right for You?
Ketamine may be right for you if you have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or a chronic pain-related illness. One should note that ketamine should not be approached as a frontline treatment. Rather, ketamine is appropriate for patients who have not responded positively to other forms of treatment.
We advise speaking with your doctor about the potential benefits of ketamine. Depending on your medical history or family history, it may be ill-advised to use medicinal ketamine. We recommend first exhausting other treatment options before you consider ketamine infusion therapy.
It should be noted that ketamine infusion therapy is contraindicated with some anti-anxiety medications. If you are currently taking any pharmaceutical drug belonging to the benzodiazepine class, such as Ativan, Valium, or Xanax, let your doctor know right away. These drugs cannot be used in conjunction with ketamine.
Finding a Ketamine Infusion Clinic Near You
One of the largest obstacles to obtaining ketamine infusion therapy is pinpointing the right clinic. Although some regions of the United States, and indeed the world at large, are underserved by ketamine treatment clinics, more and more are opening every year. In fact, there are now dozens of treatment centers scattered throughout the continental United States.
A great online resource for finding a ketamine infusion clinic near you is the Ketamine Clinics Directory, which hosts a small database of operating clinics and their going rates. However, we have put together a list of our favorite ketamine infusion and multi-treatment clinics below. For your convenience, we have listed the clinics by region.
There are several excellent ketamine infusion clinics in the State of California. However, the services provided by Dr. Thomas Leverone at the Central Coast Surgery Center stand out from the crowd. Since 2005, Dr. Leverone has performed surgery on countless satisfied patients who have been treated for chronic pain, depression, and anxiety-related disorders.
If you live in New England, Boston MindCare is the ketamine infusion clinic for you. Under the leadership of Dr. Isabel Legarda, M.D., Boston MindCare has treated depression patients since 2014. Boston MindCare operates a clinic in Lexington, Massachusetts and serves the entire Greater Boston area.
One of the best ketamine infusion clinics in the Sun Belt region of the United States is the Charleston Ketamine Center. Dr. Richard L. Bowen, M.D., has served as the leading resident doctor at Charleston Ketamine Center since its inception in 2014. Since then, they have performed over 2,500 infusions for countless satisfied patients.
The Charleston Ketamine Center (CKC) is one of the only clinics currently serving the Carolinas. Located in Charleston, Caroline the CKC is an invaluable resource for those in the American southeast looking for depression relief.
Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Michigan Progressive Health is one of the leading ketamine infusion therapy clinics operating in the American Midwest. Led by Dr. Megan Oxley, M.D., Michigan Progressive Health attracts patients from as far as Chicago, St. Louis, and Columbus. They are known for their high standard of patient care and daily outpatient “check-ins.”
The Northwest Ketamine Clinicsis a network of medical clinics offering multi-treatment therapies, including ketamine infusions. They are based out of Seattle, Bellevue, and Portland, and have gained the reputation as one of the Pacific Northwest’s finest ketamine clinics. Their team of doctors and anesthesiologists have won numerous regional medical awards.