Bad-Boy Club Drug Could Be the Answer to Depression


drugs istockWow, I never thought I'd see the day: Special K is about to get a makeover! Remember the drug's sleazy clubbing days in the '90s? The highly-addictive drug, called ketamine, started off as a humble animal tranquilizer but worked its ways into the hottest night spots, sending users into an ecstasy that made time stand still -- or, more accurately, into a "dissociative anesthesia" that could lead to a psychotic breakdown.

But here's the latest twist in ketamine's history: It could revolutionize the way depression is treated. I'm not talking your garden-variety blues. This is for real, serious, deep, clinical depression. How could something so toxic for club kids be so helpful for people who are ill?

Well, I guess kind of in the same way other prescription medications can be toxic to healthy people but helpful to sick people. It would be self-destructive and harmful to take any psychotropic drugs if you're not suffering from a mental illness. That's why they call it drug abuse.

You can read all about how dangerous K is for most of us in this Gawker post. Yeech, I get heart palpitations just reading that. Okay, okay, I get it! No K for me! Or you, or you, or you.

But researchers are experimenting with ketamine at the NeuroPsychiatric Center next to Ben Taub hospital in Houston, Texas, and they're optimistic about how it could change the way depression is treated. Long story short, traditional anti-depressants take weeks to take effect. But ketamine kicks in almost immediately. Obviously such a potentially dangerous drug would require a lot of careful study before it becomes a commonly-prescribed drug. But it's worth investigating if it could save lives.

Had you heard of ketamine before? Do you think it's worth studying?


Image via Creativeye99/iStockPhoto

drugs, emotional health, illness, medical tests, medicine, mental health


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Spaxy Spaxy

Yeah, I've heard of it as a party drug. It's definitely not the first to have several "uses", per se. There's sort of an underground thing where MDMA (ecstacy) is being used to help treat PTSD in very small doses, which I have read about in an Oprah mag awhile back. It's just a fine line to walk, with it's addictive properties. 

godde... goddess99

Never heard of it. I've never done drugs so...

AyaTa... AyaTachihara

I have struggled with treatment resistant depression for years and have been researching other avenues of treatment for just as long. Ketamine is not a new thing in the arena of depression treatment, it's simply new to the US as far as large scale studies go. It has had proven effects in overseas studies. ONE DOSE of ketamine can provide up to a month of relief for some patients. It could end up being the breakthrough so many in the mental health community have waited for. It would have to be very carefully controlled, and plans are for it to be administered by a doctor only, with strict protocols. Depression is such a terrible disease to fight, and anyone who has dealt with it will tell you that a patient will do almost anything for relief. Ketamine may be known as a "club drug", but if it works, and if the protocols work, it could actually end up keeping patients off of other drugs that they might use recreationally in order to alleviate symptoms that conventional medications are no longer helping with. Instead of  simply writing a piece on something talking about your own opinion on the matter, try looking into the research side of things. You could potentially shed light on something that would give a depression patient renewed hope.

mille... millerbunch

never heard of it.

Bertha21 Bertha21

Yeah I have, never tried it though. I really hope it works! I have been struggling with depression for 8 years and nothing seems to work :/ 

MamaB... MamaBear2cubs

I have heard of it but never tried it. If there is reason to believe it may work I say try it.

lalas... lalasmama2007

No, I've never heard of it.

nonmember avatar guest

hmmm. i have major depression, and have also tried ketamine. i don't remember it doing a thing for the depression. however, it landed my cousin in the hospital with seizures, when we were at the top of a ferris wheel at a festival, ten years ago.
in any event, glad to hear they're actually trying to find new stuff, because SSRIs don't work on everyone. i'm one of the lucky ones they can't seem to "cure".

nonmember avatar Pickles

I have a strong aversion to making something that's been used as a date rape drug available to the general public.

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