Over the last year or so, we have published a few articles dealing with drugs and their ability to potentially cure certain mental illnesses. For example, back in October, we wrote a story about how MDMA could start being used for therapeutic purposes within the next five years. According to scientists, the drug is a promising treatment option for people suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, social anxiety and more. Now, it seems like another party drug is receiving some attention, as researches have revealed that ketamine could eventually be used to treat people suffering from severe depression.

In an article in the Washington Post, experts suggest that ketamine “puts a quick end to suicidal thinking” and has a “robust antidepressant effect” by fixing brain functionality. The treatment has been called “the next big thing in psychiatry” by psychiatrist L. Alison McInnes and reports suggest that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) will begin exploring this method over the next few months.

As for the process itself, ketamine treatment involves six IV drips over two weeks. Patients are supposed to see results “within minutes or hours”, but according to some research, the benefits do not last very long. Anesthesiologist Enrique Abreu, who has been using ketamine to treat patients for multiple years, had this to say:

“It’s not subtle. It’s really obvious if it’s going to be effective. And the response rate is unbelievable. This drug is 75 percent effective, which means that three-quarters of my patients do well. Nothing in medicine has those kind of numbers.”

Alternatively, Carlos Zarate Jr. of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is a little more sceptical:

“We clearly need more standardization in its use. We still don’t know what the proper dose should be. We need to do more studies. It still, in my opinion, should be used predominantly in a research setting or highly specialized clinic.”

H/T: Mixmag