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Ketamine - A Revolutionary Treatment For Depression [VIDEO]

Ketamine has a long history of human use, both in medicine and as a recreational drug. Though it's reputation has been tarnished by excessive or improper use as a party drug, there is a growing body of evidence supporting it's incredible power for helping people with deep, treatment-resistant depression.

If you've ever encountered someone in a K-hole, it's hard to imagine how the same drug could be a powerful, potentially life saving medicine. Recreational use of the drug tends to leave people dazed, uncoordinated, or incoherent - and frequent excessive use can lead to a powerful psychological addiction. But long before ketamine was common as a recreational drug, it was used in medicine.

The smaller doses generally used recreationally produce a dreamy dissociative state, but in higher doses it becomes a powerful anesthetic and can be used for surgery. While the tendency to cause hallucinations has made it a less common choice under normal circumstances, it is still widely used in surgical situations where ventilation equipment is unavailable, as it doesn't repress respiratory function as much as other anesthetics. It is also commonly used a primary anesthetic for children and in veterinary medicine, as a sedative prior to administration of primary anesthesia, and as a sedative/analgesic in a variety of emergency medical situations.

In recent years, dozens of studies have shown that it also has powerful, fast-acting anti-depressant properties - even for patients who have tried many other treatment options without success. Speaking to the Washington Post, Dennis Hartman describes his experience after participating in one such study:

“My life will always be divided into the time before that first infusion and the time after,” Hartman says today. “That sense of suffering and pain draining away. I was bewildered by the absence of pain.”

This sort of results have lead to a growing number of doctors and researchers prescribing the drug off label for severely depressed patients, and now the American Psychiatric Association appears poised to endorse the drug for such use.

Check out the video below from NowThis, and read the full story in the Washington Post here.

Image: Wikipedia

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