Are you struggling with PTSD, anxiety, depression, or addiction and looking for the best Ketamine Assisted Treatment? Look no further than Life Line Services, the premier Ketamine Assisted Treatment Clinic! We will explore what Ketamine is and how it works, the benefits of choosing Life Line Services for your Ketamine Assisted treatment, and why we are the best option for treatment in Greenville, SC!
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Ketamine has gained attention in recent years for its potential beneficial effects in treating anxiety, addiction, PTSD and treatment-resistant depression. There have been articles in the New York Times and Outside Magazine as well as papers in many scientific journals praising its benefits. Ketamine has brief mild psychedelic and tranquilizing effects when used in low doses and causes complete unconsciousness when used in higher doses and is often used in hospitals and Emergency Rooms for anesthesia. It is a very safe drug, with few interactions or side effects. The brief psychedelic and sedating effects only last for 1 to 2 hours, however, the antidepressant effects of a Ketamine treatment and beneficial effects on anxiety, PTSD, depression, and addiction last much longer. It is theorized to work through a unique mechanism of action. It blocks the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the brain, which play a significant role in increasing learning and neural plasticity, (the ability of the neurons in the brain to change their interconnections and electrical signaling) essentially helping to “rewire” the brain. The increase in neuroplasticity caused by Ketamine can help weaken the neural pathways in the addict’s brain that reward drug use. It can weaken the pathways that lead to negative thoughts and feelings in those with depression, and that lead to unpleasant responses to triggers in PTSD and anxiety. Ketamine, combined with Ketamine integration counseling, can then help the brain form new pathways or strengthen the pre-existing pathways that reward and encouraged self-affirming, and positive behaviors. Ketamine facilitates this process of “rewiring” the brain, replacing negative responses with positive ones.
A major benefit of using ketamine is its rapid effect. With addiction it rapidly reduces cravings and some withdrawal symptoms. In depression, it can reduce the feelings of hopelessness and despair that accompany depression within hours or days. And for PTSD and anxiety it can rapidly reduce the unpleasant symptoms caused by triggering. The effect of a Ketamine treatment is long lasting, extending well beyond the 1–2-hour duration of the initial tranquilizing and psychedelic effects. The ability of Ketamine to treat anxiety, depression and PTSD that are often found in individuals battling addiction helps treat the root causes of addiction, not just the symptoms, providing a more holistic approach to recovery.
Ketamine treatment for addiction, depression and PTSD is a relatively new field. Currently there are numerous different ways to administer the drug. There are oral, IV, and nasal formulations. The most recent evidence does not show any difference in the effectiveness between the various modes of administration. Oral Ketamine is low cost, doesn’t require a painful needle stick, simple and easy to use, and can be taken at home. Because of these advantages, we exclusively use the oral form of Ketamine at Life Line Services.
It is important to know that Ketamine is still a very new and evolving form of treatment. More research is required to establish optimal protocols and long-term efficacy and safety. Furthermore, it should only be administered under the supervision of trained healthcare professionals due to the risk of misuse and potential side effects. However, if directly expressed from your provider, subsequent treatments can be taken from home.
There is no standard regimen for the initial treatment course for ketamine therapy. It is still a relatively new therapy for psychological/emotional conditions, so every clinic and provider must determine what they think is the best. At Lifeline Services, we have created what we think is the best treatment plan for our patients based on personal experience and careful, ongoing review of the latest research. Our initial treatment course consists of 10 total treatments. We shoot for 2 treatments a week for 4 weeks, then 1 treatment a week for 2 weeks. This is not a rigid schedule. It can be varied to accommodate the patient’s response, job and family obligations, etc. After completion of 10 treatments, you will meet with the doctor to determine if you need booster treatments and schedule the next treatment if desired.
There is no clear evidence that there is any improvement in outcomes when using IV or IM compared to oral or nasal forms of ketamine. However, it is easier to get consistent blood levels and effects using IV or IM ketamine because absorption is not dependent on the state of the patient’s gastrointestinal tract or nasal cavity. When giving oral ketamine, we try to minimize this problem by ensuring that the ketamine is only given when the patient has an empty stomach. The advantages of oral ketamine are: it is much less costly, it can be taken at home, and there is no painful needle stick. Currently, we offer oral, IV and IM ketamine at Lifeline Services. Each patient’s situation is different and the best method of administration will be determined after the initial evaluation at the clinic.
Many patients report improvement in depression within hours to days after treatment, which is significantly faster than most conventional antidepressants that can take weeks to work. There is also a fairly rapid improvement in PTSD symptoms and anxiety.
Ketamine can be administered intravenously (IV), intramuscularly (IM), orally, or nasally. The route of administration and dosage depend on the patient’s condition and the treatment protocol of the clinic. IV, IM, and intranasal ketamine can only be administered at the clinic. Oral ketamine can be safely used at home.
The duration of ketamine’s effects varies. The alteration in consciousness or “psychedelic” effect that occurs during treatment only lasts about 30-60 minutes. The changes in the brain that cause the beneficial effects on depression, anxiety and PTSD begin a few hours after the treatment. Some patients experience relief for a few days, some for up to several weeks after a single dose, while others may need repeated treatments for sustained benefits.
Coverage varies depending on the insurance provider and policy. Even though ketamine has been used successfully for treating psychological/emotional problems for years, many insurers do not cover ketamine because its use for treating psychological/emotional conditions is considered “off label” use.
Ketamine is not physically addicting. However, there is a slight potential for abuse and psychological addiction with ketamine. However, when used in a controlled medical setting, the risk is minimal. That is why close monitoring and frequent follow–up are important parts of the treatment process.
This depends on the patient’s response. Some may require periodic maintenance doses, while others might achieve long–term relief after the initial series of treatments. If maintenance treatments are required, they rarely need to be given more than once a month, sometime much less often than that. The need for maintenance treatments and their schedule will be determined by the patient and the doctor at the end of the initial course of treatment.
Long–term side effects of ketamine use for depression and PTSD are still being studied. Chronic use, especially abuse of ketamine in non- medical settings, has been associated with cognitive changes, bladder problems, and dependency. There is no clear evidence that ketamine use in a medically supervised treatment program causes any long term negative effects.
Ketamine may not be suitable for individuals with certain medical conditions like uncontrolled high blood pressure, severe heart disease or severe liver disease. It’s also not recommended for pregnant women. It is also not used in people with schizophrenia or any history of certain psychotic disorders. You will have a careful history and physical exam prior to your first treatment to determine if Ketamine is right for you.
Yes. Some patients decide to switch from IV/IM to oral or oral to IV/IM because of cost or other considerations. Changing from one form to another can be done at any time.
Ketamine works differently from traditional antidepressants. It affects the glutamate system in the brain, which is involved in mood regulation and neuroplasticity. This can lead to rapid improvement in depressive symptoms and a decrease in PTSD symptoms, possibly by creating new neural connections in the brain.
When administered under medical supervision, ketamine is considered safe. It has been used for years as a general anesthetic. It is also frequently used in emergency rooms to sedate children for painful procedures. However, it can occasionally have side effects, such as nausea, some elevation in blood pressure and heart rate, and in rare cases, hallucinations. Although negative effects are rare, we like to give the first ketamine treatment in our office under medical supervision. Usually, after the initial treatment, patients can safely administer their treatments at home. Long-term safety data for medical ketamine use is still being collected. Currently, there is no solid evidence of any detrimental effects from long term use in a medically supervised setting.