Ketamine: Is Treating Depression Patients With A ‘Club Drug’ Ethical?

Ketamine may be effective for treating depression

Ketamine is being used to treat people with severe depression, but some question the legality and ethics of such practice. The FDA approved ketamine for use as an anesthetic. However, the drug has become popular in the nightclub scene where it is known as “Special K” or just “K.”

According to the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, ketamine is classified as a “dissociative anesthetic.”

Meaning “that [it] distorts perception of sight and sound and produces feelings of detachment (dissociation) from the environment and self.”

In typical doses, it can cause hallucinations, which is why another street name for it is “Super Acid.” Even modest amounts of the drug can have various adverse side effects such as nausea, vomiting, numbness, depression, amnesia, and even respiratory failure.

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