In recent years, the United States has seen a proliferation of ketamine clinics. From 2015 to 2018, the number of clinics increased from 60 to 300; that number is undoubtedly higher today. People are increasingly using ketamine for ailments that resist treatment through traditional pharmaceutical drugs.
In an even larger trend, the health care provider community seems to be exploring various alternative therapies and emerging medicines to improve quality of care. Recently, the decriminalization of psilocybin (by various cities) has been in the news as an emerging medicine. Similar to ketamine, psilocybin has shown great promise in clinical trials for helping to effectively treat depression and PTSD (and we’ve written about psilocybin several times on this blog, including here and here).
With respect to ketamine infusion therapy (which is the prime time attraction of ketamine clinics), the medical research based promise is for treatment of chronic neuropathic pain, chronic pain (instead of opioids), and various medication-resistant mental health disorders, including depression, bi-polar disorder, and PTSD (among others). According to the American Psychiatric Nurses Association:
Ketamine infusion therapy involves the administration of a single infusion or a series of infusions for the management of psychiatric disorders (e.g., major depressive