Recently, there’s been news about ketamine clinics across the U.S. and Canada closing their doors. While there have been some comments around the need to preserve capital, the ultimate causes of this are hidden from the public. At APS, we want you to know there is no need to fear ketamine for therapeutic purposes. In this blog, we’ll cover why ketamine infusion therapy is still safe and effective when done right and talk about our amazing track record of success.
APS’ Track Record of Success Using Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy
Since our opening in 2016, Hopemark Health has administered over 4,500 ketamine infusions and counting! Our patients report improvements in their battles against depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and more. By partnering with APS, our patients get comprehensive care that includes appropriate screening, preparation, administration and after care.
Additionally, we’ve been able to use Deep TMS as a complimentary treatment in some cases. It’s our philosophy that ketamine-assisted psychotherapy can’t forget the psychotherapy component if it hopes to be effective. Our track record tells us that this is the best approach and has allowed us to help thousands of patients.
What sets us apart from other ketamine centers, is our care. The patient is given ketamine by a team of mental health specialists (including psychiatrists and therapists), having experience in and expertise in how the traditional antidepressant medications should be approached in the context of ketamine therapy. They also have the ability to leverage all the other services in conjunction with ketamine, which is just one tool in the toolbelt, to produce the best outcomes.
We want all our past, current, and future clients to know that we’re not going anywhere. We have no plans to close any of our locations. And we’re stable and here to help those seeking ketamine for depression and other conditions. In addition, our Chief Medical Officer and Medical Director Dr. Abid Nazeer is the Vice President of the American Association of Psychedelics. He ensures that we’re always up to date with the latest research and methodologies for ketamine and future approved psychedelics.
How Ketamine Works
Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic. That basically means that it helps those who take it feel detached from their internal world and see it more objectively. By increasing neural connectivity and neuroplasticity, ketamine helps those experiencing acute mental health problems overcome them and feel better. These include acute suicidality, acute anxiety, and treatment-resistant depression.
The benefits of ketamine can be felt as soon as 4 hours to 4 days after the infusion. There are physiological changes in the brain during the infusion. Some of these changes produce a cascade of downstream effects occurring after the infusion is complete and for the few days following. For example, the release of Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF) which signals neuroplastic changes and building of new pathways. During the actual infusion, the benefits come from the psychological effects of ketamine to shift perspective and consciousness. After the infusion, there is continued medical benefit due to the neuroplasticity from the downstream cascade like BDNF release.
Here are some feelings that ketamine infusion clients have reported in the past:
- Feeling calm and peaceful
- Deep Relaxation or perhaps drowsiness
- Floating, tingling, wanting to laugh
- In some cases, nausea or confusion
While there are some negative side effects that are possible, in most cases these are mild and resolve of their own within 24 hours. Luckily for those who partner with APS, our clinicians will only administer dosages of ketamine that have evidence to support effectiveness in treating mental health conditions while at the same time mitigate risk of developing adverse effects from the medication.
Misconceptions About Ketamine
Ketamine has been used in medicine since 1966, or nearly six decades. Originally used by EMTs as an anesthetic to numb the pain of accidents, it was noticed that ketamine helped depressed patients recover from depression. As enough of these anecdotes compiled, researchers began to take notice.
Today, ketamine is safe and effective in the right setting. But there are still common misconceptions floating around due largely to ketamine’s use as a party drug.
Here’s one such misconception: Context Doesn’t Matter When Using Ketamine to Treat Mental Disorders
The thinking of this says ketamine itself contains all the benefits, and context or support don’t matter. This is wrong for a few reasons. Listen to Dr. Abid Nazeer, founder and Chief Medical Officer of Hopemark Health, explain it:
“Ketamine is a powerful treatment that should be used carefully in appropriately screened patients and as part of a larger comprehensive treatment plan. Most ketamine clinics do not have a psychiatrist involved, or even a psychotherapist on staff. The primary clinician is assuming care of complicated treatment resistant individuals with depression and anxiety but is not specialized or trained to do so.”
To get the full benefits of ketamine therapy, clinics can’t forget the therapy part. Patients need appropriate support to fully benefit from ketamine therapy, and any clinic not offering comprehensive treatment should be avoided.
Another common misconception is that ketamine is addictive. Here’s what Dr. Nazeer has to say about that:
“While it is true that utilizing ketamine on a more routine basis at higher doses can lead to physical and psychological dependence, that is not proven to be the case when ketamine is given in a supervised medical setting and especially when paired with psychotherapy.”
The major difference is in the level of respect, accuracy, and expert supervision and guidance. By partnering with professionals, ketamine for depression and other concerns can be safe and effective, with minimal risk for developing an addiction. In fact, ketamine in fact has a growing body of research behind it that shows it is very effective in actually treating other substance use disorders/addictions.
Will Ketamine Work for me?
Ketamine therapy requires effort and attention from individuals. It is not a passive treatment, or a magic pill solution. Those with higher willingness to change, curiosity about themselves, and openness to new experiences will benefit the most from ketamine therapy. For those with the right motivations, ketamine can be amazing for lowering defensiveness and looking at how one operates with objectivity and detachment. To know if ketamine will work for a specific individual, more information is needed. Contact us to schedule an evaluation.
APS is a Trusted Source for High-Quality Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy
To sum it up, ketamine, when administered to the right person at the right dosage with the right comprehensive care, is highly safe and effective. There are minimal side effects, and most of them resolve quickly.
At APS, we pride ourselves on our ability to consistently serve our clients at a high level. With nearly five thousand infusions under our belt, we’re confident that we can deliver Chicagoans the ketamine-assisted psychotherapy they deserve.
If you enjoyed this blog, please share it with your network on social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. And if you’re interested in learning what ketamine-assisted psychotherapy can do for you, contact us today to schedule an appointment.