Ketamine is Safe for Therapeutic Use

As a whole, psychedelics are considered safe, particularly when used in a therapeutic setting.

The Lancet, a medical journal in the UK, found ketamine to be much less harmful than alcohol when evaluated against 16 factors related to the harm produced by the drug (e.g., drug-specific damage) and the harm to others (e.g., loss of relationships).

A bar chart showing how harmful alcohol, drugs, and substances are. Alcohol is most harmful, with classic psychedelics at the bottom of the list.
Drug harms in the UK: a multicriteria decision analysis. The Lancet.

Furthermore, to ensure ketamine is safe for an individual to use in therapy, contraindications should always be accounted for prior to prescribing treatment. The best thing for someone who is interested in ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP) to do is to be honest with clinicians who are helping to evaluate if KAP is appropriate. Below are a few examples of common contraindications that should be screened for:

  • Medical history of heart problems
  • History of high or low blood pressure
  • History of brain or eye pressure
  • Personal history or family history of manic or psychotic episodes
  • Active depression, suicidal ideation, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia
  • Active use of pharmaceutical medications

KAP is physically and psychologically safe when performed in a safe, conducive atmosphere with the guidance of qualified and licensed practitioners. 

Want to learn more and see if ketamine can support your mental health journey. Fill out a brief assessment and connect with a Curio clinician.

Photo by Diana Polekhina

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