Ketamine to deal with sufferers at Kelowna’s new psychedelic-assisted remedy clinic

A brand new psychedelic-assisted therapy clinic has opened its doors in Kelowna, the first in the Okanagan.

Ketamine was first introduced in the 1970s and has been used as a fast-acting anesthetic in veterinary and human surgeries for a number of years.

While it has been known to carry the stigma of being a street drug also known as Special K, doctors at the EntheoMed Ketamine Suite were quick to break down these stereotypes.

In recent years it’s been discovered that this medication can go a long way in aiding psychiatric therapy when helping treat depression and anxiety.

Both Chief Medical Officers, Dr. Francois Louw and Medical Director, Dr. Anita Sanan at EntheoMed confirmed that the breakthrough in ketamine assisted therapy has created great strides in psychotherapy and psychiatry, which hasn’t happened in years.

When Ketamine is administered in small doses by a medical professional alongside therapy, it can help to enhance neurogenesis or increase connections in the brain to sustain beneficial effects.

“In the right setting, what psychedelics can do for a patient, is that it can actually bring the negative emotions and thoughts to the surface where it can be properly dealt with,” explained Dr. Louw.

“So it’s like a catalyst to healing, it’s not the silver bullet that’s going to fix a problem but it actually assists with that process and oftentimes people can make more breakthroughs with one or two of these sessions than with 20 psychotherapy sessions.”

While there are many other clinics across Canada that offer this style of ketamine treatment either orally or sublingually, EntheoMed can offer the medication intramuscularly since they have the proper medical supervision on board.

“It’s an injection into the arm. Which gives ketamine a higher bioavailability, meaning more of the drug actually gets to the patient, similar to intravenous,” Dr. Sanan told KelownaNow.

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<p dir=Individuals seeking to access this type of therapy will only be considered through a referral from either a GP or psychiatrist.

Even though some people may be recommended for treatment, a patient must undergo a medical evaluation and assessment to ensure they are the proper candidate for ketamine and to rule out any contraindications.

Once approved, Ketamine will be administered by a team of professionals and the patient will remain at the clinic for up to three hours under medical supervision.

When the patient is safe to go home they’re discharged to a family member and will return the following day for a post-integration psychotherapy session, which can include mediation, breathwork and yoga.

Effects from a ketamine session can be felt almost immediately, and while the euphoric feeling will only last a few hours, the integration of therapy can help to prolong the benefits.

“If you just give someone ketamine and send them on their merry way, the effects in studies show that it’s under four weeks, so we want to prolong that, and that’s why we’re using all these other processes available to us,” said dr Sanan.

While research shows that ketamine is beneficial for treatment-resistant depression, studies show that it may be beneficial in treating other mental illnesses in the future as well, such as OCD, PTSD, eating disorders and addictions.

dr Sanan added: “There’s definitely a lot of benefits to ketamine, it’s not for everyone, it’s not the end all be all for everybody, but I think it definitely shows a lot of promise.”

For more information on the EntheoMed Ketamine Suite, click here.

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