|Ketamine is being sold as a mental-health wonder drug. For some, it’s making everything worse.
It’s been described as a wonder drug. A depression treatment. A mental-health panacea. You’ll find it at raves and parties, and increasingly at a growing swath of VC-backed psychedelic therapy startups.
But while ketamine is far less addictive than, say, opioids, some people are still finding themselves hooked. One NYC physician until recently had been using the drug daily for almost a year and a half. “It was all I could think about,” she told Insider, “and it was all I wanted to do.”
The number of people using ketamine exploded at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, when escaping the world was less a choice than a survival tactic. But its addictive potential and long-term effects aren’t widely understood. And as it becomes increasingly accessible, some are sounding the alarm.
Insider’s Anna Silman takes stock of ketamine’s impact: its supporters, its detractors, and the people who can’t resist it — and who are suffering the consequences.