Ketamine for Mental Health Crisis Intervention
Treating someone who is in the depths of a major depressive episode—especially someone who is suffering from suicide ideation—can be challenging, especially when antidepressant medications can take weeks to alleviate symptoms. Traditionally, doctors have turned to a combination of psychotherapy, medication, and safety monitoring during crisis intervention situations, but these methods aren’t always effective in treating the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.: suicide.
There’s hope for a new approach to treating these extreme cases, however. A recent study conducted by a team of French researchers showed that ketamine infusion therapy might prove to be a good treatment option for mental health crisis intervention.
A Hopeful Outcome
The medical establishment has found many uses for ketamine over the years, beginning in the 1970s when it was introduced as an anesthetic. Today, the drug is included on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medications and is used to treat a variety of conditions, including chronic pain and depression. However, its efficacy in crisis intervention situations has only recently begun to be investigated…and with some promising results!
A 2022 double-blind trial tested ketamine’s efficacy as a tool for crisis intervention, specifically when a patient is suffering from suicidal ideation. When a person experiences suicide ideation, symptoms can include a preoccupation with death, loss of interest in living, or an attempt at suicide.
The study divided patients into two groups, with one group receiving a series of 40-minute IV ketamine infusions, and the other receiving a placebo dose of saline. All participants also received the traditionally prescribe course of psychotherapy and medication.
The group who received the infusions reported full remission of suicidal ideas within just three days.
Though more research is needed to determine ketamine’s role in acute crisis intervention, this first piece of positive news is a bright spot in the effort to prevent suicide.
Contact Tahoe Ketamine
Tahoe Ketamine treats patients struggling with depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, and chronic pain conditions. We also offer IV hydration therapy to further support mental health and overall well-being. If you or a loved one is struggling with depression, please reach out via the brief form below. We can help you determine if ketamine is a viable solution for you.