dancing partying

  • Ketamine — widely used legally as an anesthetic and illegally in club settings — is emerging as a potential new treatment for some types of depression.
  • Researchers have called it “the most important discovery in half a century.”
  • We visited a ketamine clinic that offers 45-minute infusions of the therapy in San Francisco.

After a 45-minute infusion of ketamine, clients at a clinic in San Francisco’s Nob Hill neighborhood are not partying.

Instead, they’re in a state of quiet contemplation — reclining on cushioned chairs, listening to music, or occasionally striking a tranquil yoga pose.

These clients are patients at one of ten ketamine clinics operated by Actify Neurotherapies, a network that offers the treatments to people diagnosed with severe forms of anxiety and depression. Ketamine is best known for its illegal recreational uses — it is a powerful dissociative that can induce feelings of being separated from one’s own body. But it is also one of the safest and most widely used legal anesthetics. And ketamine’s utility as an antidepressant has recently started to gain attention.

A spate of studies over the past several years suggests ketamine may provide swift and powerful relief to people suffering from some of the hardest-to-treat forms of depression — an illness that is the leading disability worldwide. Those findings have been so promising, in fact, that some researchers are calling it “the most important discovery in half a century.” However, the US Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved ketamine for the treatment of anxiety or depression.

Actify Neurotherapies’ San Francisco facility is currently offering treatments to thousands of patients anyway, and is one of an estimated 50 to 100 such clinics operating across the US. Here’s what it’s like.

Inside a ketamine clinic

Like Actify Neurotherapies’ other nine locations, the San Francisco office is Read More Here