Old drug with racy history is a new suicide prevention weapon
“Ketamine, with a long record as both a dependable surgery anesthetic and a notorious club and date-rape drug, has gained new life in northern Utah as a weapon against severe depression and thoughts of suicide.
“I am so blown away by how it has changed me,” said Laura Warburton of Huntsville, who runs a local teen suicide prevention nonprofit and learned about ketamine’s latest emergence as part of her work.
Practitioners and patients describe the new intravenous ketamine treatments as a last-resort stab against cases of depression so deep that other forms of therapy have not worked.
Ketamine’s new path has grown nationally in the past several years with clinical research that identified its usefulness against depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain, according to National Institutes of Mental Health documents.
Stan Summers, a Box Elder County commissioner, is excited by the prospect that ketamine may help his son, Talan. The 27-year-old has an incurable and excruciatingly painful disease that attacks his internal tissues. He’s now on palliative care.
“He’s been on narcotics for years,” Stan Summers said. “We’re very interested in ketamine as another good alternative, like medical marijuana.”
Warburton and other local patients have been receiving periodic intravenous infusions of ketamine, including those administered at the Therapy Reset clinic in Washington Terrace.
The intravenous treatments of ketamine being offered locally are off-label applications of the drug, meaning the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved it for use against depression, and therefore it is not covered by insurance.” read the rest at standard.net