Psychedelic drugs have once again taken popular culture by storm - but this time for a different Reason. Once blindly dismissed as dangerous and having little therapeutic potential, according to a large body of innovative research, psychedelic drugs are now showing tremendous potential in revolutionizing the treatment of mental health disorders. Just like how the introduction of antibiotics transformed the way we treat bacterial infections, psychedelics are set to turn the way we treat mental health disorders on its head for good. And it’s about time - nearly one billion people on the planet have a mental health disorder and are currently in need of better options. Experts, such as Frederick Streeter Barrett, PhD, express how “the current model for treating problems like anxiety and depression just isn’t very good. Patients take pills every day, for years, and these medications not only have nasty side effects, they often don’t even work. But with psychedelics-assisted therapy, there’s the potential to truly alter someone’s life with just one or two sessions, because you’re getting to the suffering at the source.” So, with this in mind, we must ask - could psychedelics be the answer to how we should treat mental health disorders in the future?
WHAT DO WE MEAN BY ‘PSYCHEDELICS’?
First things first, let’s get to grips with what we actually mean when we talk about ‘psychedelics’. In essence, psychedelics are substances that change people’s perception and mood and affect a number of cognitive processes. These include drugs like Ketamine, Psilocybin, LSD, Ayahuasca and DMT. Research has shown that these psychedelics can reshape the way different parts of the brain talk to each other, building new pathways and allowing users to explore themselves, let go of things that had previously plagued them and open up those closed critical parts of the brain, memory and personality for just a small, but incredibly valuable, window of time. According to Brandon Weiss of Imperial College London, “Psychedelic experiences are associated with profound changes in the way people relate to themselves, others, and the world around them. They seem to indelibly elicit a sense of meaning that individuals rate as the foremost meaningful in their lives.”
THE HISTORY OF PSYCHEDELICS
So, why has it taken so long to accept that psychedelics can be useful for treating issues such as anxiety, depression and other mood disorders? Despite early psychiatric research in the 1950s and 1960s naming psychedelics as “wonder drugs”, their association with the 1960s counterculture led to mass misrepresentation in the media. In addition, reports of “bad trips” gave way to moral panic and the public became well-versed in the potential harms of psychedelic drugs, despite many of these stories coming from cases involving people who used illicit substances in unsupervised non-medical contexts and often to excess or in subpar environments. Similarly, despite being used as a field anesthetic for soldiers during the Vietnam war, Ketamine was stigmatized starting in 1999 and through recent years because of its psychedelic-like symptoms.
KETAMINE AS A PSYCHEDELIC
Thankfully, the pendulum is swinging back, and the interest in the usefulness of psychedelics as a tool to help treat a variety of mental health conditions is rapidly growing. Psychedelics, such as Ketamine, are well on their way to mainstream acceptance, receiving renewed media and medical interest. Time after time, psychedelics like Ketamine have proved themselves worthy in new medical research. For example, research by Harvard University in 2019 uncovered Ketamine’s breakthrough ability to treat treatment-resistant depression, anxiety and other medical issues such as PTSD, migraines and chronic pain. Ketamine’s antidepressant qualities have stood out from traditional antidepressants due to its reliability in producing dramatic changes within hours, rather than weeks or months.
Mental health experts have been studying Ketamine for over 20 years as a fast-acting treatment for people who haven’t responded well to conventional medications or therapies. It’s s-isomer is now FDA Approved for mood, is showing promising results, and IV ketamine infusions have even been called the most important breakthrough in the treatment of depression to come along in recent history. Ketamine has an incredibly calming and therapeutic effect on the regions of your brain that control mood and behavior, stimulating beneficial brain changes that lead to lasting symptom relief over the course of just a single treatment cycle. Whilst conventional antidepressants take 4 to 12 weeks to kick in and improve symptoms, evidence is showing that Ketamine has rapid action on tackling even the toughest to treat depressive symptoms.
THE FUTURE OF PSYCHEDELICS
It’s an exciting time for psychedelics; the US psychedelic drugs market is forecasted to grow by over 15% by 2027 as decades-long restrictions have been lifted to allow researchers to publish on the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics. It used to be nearly impossible to study the positive benefits of psychedelics in the USA, but now we’re witnessing a psychedelic renaissance in which these drugs are finally being recognized as real solutions for the mental health crisis. Ketamine infusion therapy in particular is a promising option for those suffering with mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression and mood disorders.
KETAMINE INFUSION THERAPY
Ketamine Infusion Therapy is rapidly expanding across the USA and we are proud to be the original pioneers of this field at Ketamine Clinics Los Angeles. We offer patients a safe, comfortable and calm experience, in a state-of-the-art treatment center, with experienced, compassionate and expert staff. Our team has collectively performed over 15,000 infusions to more than 5,000 patients. The entire experience is relaxed, easy and painless. The results can be almost instant, sometimes within an hour, though it is more typical for relief to be realized within 4 days.
If you’d like to find out whether Ketamine Infusion Therapy is the right fit for you, our team has over 9 years of success leading this field of medicine and would be happy to answer your questions free of charge. Click the link below to schedule a call with our patient care team and to find out how ketamine may be able to help you along your healing journey.