By Cort Johnson in Health Rising.
For years, ketamine was known for its use as an anesthetic or as a recreational drug. It had the nice benefit of being able to knock one out without impacting heart rate or breathing. Its ability to provide quick and safe sedation saved many lives during the Vietnam war. It can be used to induce a kind of trance-like state which wipes away pain, and it’s been used, in higher doses when taken orally, as a party drug (“Special K”) and hallucinogen. (It has structural similarities to PCP.)
Ketamine may turn out to be more than an anesthesia drug or an illegal means of getting high. While more research needs to be done, recent studies point to its ability to relieve treatment-resistant depression, act as an anti-suicide drug, possibly reduce pain, and even assist in PTSD.
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