For most people, ketamine therapy is a new or unheard-of option for the treatment of depression and other mental illnesses. Once you decide on pursuing ketamine as a treatment modality, the next step is to find the best ketamine clinics specifically for YOU. Not all clinics are geared the same way, so finding the best ketamine clinics that are in line with your needs and expectations is at upmost importance.
Let’s start with a short list of seven key questions that will help you decide which ketamine clinic is best for you. The best ketamine clinics should be prepared to answer these important questions:
Some clinics will offer various routes of ketamine administration. Ketamine can be used intravenously, intramuscularly, orally, and via intranasal. It’s important to understand that most research with regards to ketamine for the treatment of mental illness is with intravenous route of administration. Bioavailability, with refers to the rate and extent to which a drug is absorbed and reaches circulation is different between various formulations of ketamine. For example, intravenous ketamine is 100% bioavailable, while ketamine given intranasal is only approximately 40% bioavailable. This means that the dose for intravenous use is much less than intranasal and oral forms.
To ensure that you are getting the best care, you should seek a provider that has experience with administering ketamine. Much like other fields of medicine, using ketamine takes practice and it should be done by a professional with appropriate qualifications, experience, and openness for continued education. Ketamine is a relatively new treatment modality for mental illness; thus it is key that you find a provider that is dedicated to stay up to date with the current guidelines and the latest research.
Ketamine isn’t for everyone. It’s important that your provider understands this. Some people will have medical conditions that prevent them from safely undergoing a ketamine infusion. It is a red flag if your provider states that they treat just about anyone or fail to ask appropriate questions and properly screen your medical history for contraindications.
Ketamine is just one part of the healing process. Its use should be seen as a tool to facilitate ongoing therapy you may already be involved with. It’s important to know if your provider has a system in place to communicate and hopefully collaborate with your current healthcare provider, physician, therapist, etc. A clinic that recognizes that treatment is a team effort rather than a one-man job is something to consider when choosing the best ketamine clinic for you.
I can’t stress enough how important “set and setting” is for each person. It’s hard to imagine a sterile medical environment as an ideal place for ketamine therapy. Comfort and safety are two things that should come to mind when picking the best ketamine clinic for you. Find a clinic that offers or invites you to visit them prior to committing to anything. Make sure the clinic is a right fit for your needs and understand that you are not just another client passing through.
Some clinics require that patients be treatment-resistant prior to consideration of ketamine therapy. Treatment-resistance is defined as failure to respond to at least two antidepressant medications of different drug classes and two augmentation strategies at adequate dosages for at least 6 weeks. Other clinics will offer treatment for individuals with mental health conditions, although not require that they have tried multiple antidepressants or therapy without a satisfactory response. Along those same lines, some clinics require that you have a referral from a psychiatrist. These are important questions to ask during your initial consultation and when deciding which ketamine clinic is best for you.
To assess what degree the ketamine therapy is working, is important for the provider to have some objective means to measure the severity of your mental health condition. There are various assessment tools that ideally should be used prior and after ketamine therapy to track your progress. In addition, it would be best that the provider follow-up with you after ketamine therapy to see if you need additional boosters or other forms of treatment such as psychotherapy.
Whether you are in the information gathering stages of your journey, or you’re vetting providers to determine the best ketamine clinics for your needs—we are here to help. Schedule a free consultation to learn more today.
Ketamine is a remarkable medication and option for those suffering from various mental health conditions, in particular, treatment-resistant depression. While IV ketamine is off label, there is robust research showing that it is effective, rapid, and safe. There are many ketamine clinics opening across the country and most are providing excellent care. Unfortunately, like many other industries, there are individuals that may not be practicing at the highest standards and focus more on the financial incentives of a business. As such, it is important that you do your research and ask difficult questions to get the best possible experience and care.
Tags: anxiety, best ketamine clinic, depression, healing, ketamine, ketamine assisted psychotherapy, ketamine infusion, ketamine therapy, mental health, PTSD, san luis obispo, suicide, therapy dog, wellness
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