Ketamine Therapy Proves Powerful For Treatment-Resistant Depression

Ketamine Therapy Proves Powerful For Treatment-Resistant Depression

A powerful FDA-approved anesthetic drug once used mainly in operating rooms and on the battlefield is quickly gaining ground as one of the most promising therapies for treatment-resistant mental health conditions.

First discovered as an anesthetic in the 1950s, ketamine has been used in the treatment of a wide range of physical conditions, especially pain management. Starting in the early 1970s, doctors began to find that it can also be very effective in alleviating mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction. Today it is ever more frequently being studied and legally used as an off-label medication to manage conditions that are particularly resistant to treatment with conventional pharmaceuticals.

The latest in a series of recent studies has found that ketamine can quickly and dramatically decrease chronic and suicidal thoughts. Dr. Naveen Thomas is a psychiatrist who has been using ketamine in his practice for years.

“I and many of my colleagues have of course had tremendous success in using ketamine in people who are really suffering from depression. I’ve had a lot of success in treating people with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder,” Dr. Naveen said.

“And some of these folks have spent years and years doing absolutely the best they could using such a wide variety of the conventional treatments, be they various medication treatments, be they various forms of psychotherapy. We’ve seen really wonderful effects.”

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Bicycle Day 2022 – 79 Years Since Albert Hofmann's LSD Discovery

Bicycle Day 2022 – 79 Years Since Albert Hofmann’s LSD Discovery

Eight years before Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938, Harry J. Anslinger was appointed the founding commissioner of the U.S. Treasury’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics. While both men were of Swiss descent and their life’s work centered around public drug use, their paths couldn’t have been more divergent. And now for this year’s Bicycle Day, as the tides of drug policy are shifting quicker than ever, their stories are increasingly relevant.

While most consider the United States’ war on drugs to have started with the Nixon or Reagan administrations, author Johann Hari in his book Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, urges our reconsideration of the country’s infamously failed attempt at drug prohibition to an earlier date.

Hari argues that based on racism, classism, and other prejudices, Anslinger was largely responsible for creating a zeitgeist of public misconception about nearly every drug, without regard to therapeutic applications or larger societal implications.

And though Anslinger’s tenure ended just before the criminalization of LSD, it was the foundation he set in place that widely villainized the chemical for decades.

But with the recent relaxation around psychedelic substances and the recognition of their potential as powerful healing modalities, Hofmann’s radical discovery may finally be realized for what he envisioned it could be.

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