Ketamine for depression has been called “the most important discovery in half a century.” But while scientists, researchers and doctors have seen this drug work miracles for severely depressed individuals, understanding how ketamine works has been a bit murky. 

Earlier this year, researchers discovered that ketamine alleviates depression through a network of neural connections in the brain’s glutamate system. This information has led several pharmaceutical companies down the road of researching and developing ketamine-like drugs that have a similar impact on the brain’s functionality. However, a recent study performed at Stanford, funded by the National Institutes of Health, and published in the American Journal of Psychiatry sheds a bit of a different light on how ketamine works. This study shows that, in addition to the glutamate system, ketamine also activates the brain’s opioid receptors.

Based on early results, researchers believe that ketamine, initially, activates the brain’s opioid centers—this is the immediate relief that up to 70% of depressed patients report feeling—and the goes on to engage the brain’s glutamate system, which accounts for the longer-term antidepressant qualities of ketamine.

What are the implications of this new information? Unfortunately, this new information may only reinforce the negative stigma of ketamine infusions. How can we discuss the miraculous abilities of a drug that activates the brain’s opioid system…in the midst of an opioid crisis?

Ketamine is not a physically addictive drug. It’s ability to activate the brain’s opioid system does not mean that it is addictive the same way that opioids are. Furthermore, ketamine infusions are administered in a clinical setting, under the close supervision of a trained physician. Most reputable ketamine clinics don’t provide take-home prescriptions that could be either abused or dropped into the wrong hands.

The fact is that ketamine is the most important antidepressant researchers have discovered in 50+ years. It saves lives. It works where other depression treatments fail. And our job, as Green Bay’s leading ketamine clinic, is to educate as many people as possible about the facts behind ketamine for depression.

Contact JoyDeVie Infusions

Our ketamine clinic and wellness center is located in Green Bay, WI. We offer ketamine infusions for patients suffering from severe cases of treatment-resistant depression, as well as for chronic pain conditions. If you or a loved one is suffering, please contact us using the brief form below. We are happy to offer a free consultation to help answer your questions and determine if you are a candidate for ketamine infusions.