The past couple of years have seen a surge in psychedelic research that has revealed potential therapeutic benefits in using hallucinogenic drugs such as ketamine and psilocybin to treat mental health issues. Although most of this research is in its infancy due to prohibitionist laws that have prevented psychedelic research for decades, the findings are extremely promising. Researchers have found that even a single dose of a psychedelic such as ketamine can result in profound and long-lasting mental health benefits.
As such, Big Pharma and investors are pouring millions of dollars into the research and development of psychedelic-assisted therapies. With psychedelics growing more popular by the day amid increased research and legislative action, there have been fears that using drugs such as ketamine for therapeutic purposes could result in addiction.
Because of ketamine’s hallucinogenic effects, it has a significant potential for addiction when used regularly and in unsupervised conditions. And since ketamine causes certain chemical changes in the brain when abused, overcoming a ketamine addiction without professional help can be quite difficult.
Fortunately, ketamine does not result in any kind of addiction when it is administered under the supervision of a qualified physician to treat a mental disorder, including depression. Ketamine infusions in medical settings rarely, if ever, result in addiction because doctors are extremely careful with administration methods, dosing amounts and dosing frequency to eradicate the potential for addiction.
Over the past few years, psychedelics have exhibited significant potential as a safe, effective and long-term treatment for a range of mental conditions, including bipolar disorder, depression, PTSD, postpartum disorders, suicidal ideation and anxiety.
On top of its mental health benefits, ketamine has also been used for years for its sedative, analgesic, anesthetic and amnestic properties. It is a safe and effective sedation option for children in the ER and is especially effective in short and painful medical procedures that call for patient immobilization.
Ketamine is generally safe to use in controlled medical settings but presents a significant risk of addiction when taken recreationally. As such, physicians have used the psychedelic drug for years in medical procedures with zero cases of life-threatening addiction.
This means that you will have a near-zero chance of developing an addiction if you receive ketamine infusions under the supervision of a medical professional to treat a mental health condition. Your risk for abuse and addiction only increases if you step away from the medical setting and take ketamine recreationally.
All psychedelics have a degree of risk to them, which is why all startups in this space, including Seelos Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SEEL), are currently looking at the use of the drugs they are developing in a clinical setting only where experienced professionals can maximize the benefits patients derive while keeping the risk of side effects minimal or at zero level.
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