Ketamine Assisted

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic used medically for induction and maintenance of anesthesia. It is also used as a treatment for depression, and as a pain management tool.

How is it used therapeutically?

In 2019, Ketamine, gained FDA approval for people with treatment-resistant depression, major depressive disorder, and suicidality. Recent studies show promising results for other mental health disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and substance abuse.

What is KAP?

Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP) is an intervention that pairs ketamine with therapeutic care from a mental health professional. The provider helps you learn from and integrate lessons and insights from the ketamine session. It is also highly recommended that KAP sessions be followed up with integrative counseling. This form of counseling aims to address observations or concerns that occur during the ketamine experience. Ketamine opens doors into unexplored areas of the mind, creating the conditions for new learning and associations to occur. At Pacific Premier Group KAP can be done as a therapeutic modality and as a part of an integrated therapeutic program.

What are the risks?

You will be asked to lie still during the ketamine administration because ketamine will temporarily affect your sense of balance and coordination. However, this generally wears off after 2-4 hours administration.

There is a risk of nausea and vomiting so we ask participates refrain from eating or drink four hours before the session.

Agitation may also occur during the session.

Other side effects may include slurred speech, anorexia, mental confusion, excitability, anxiety, diminished ability to hear or feel objects accurately including one’s own body. Visual, tactile, and auditory processing are affected by the drug. Music that may be familiar may not seem so. Synesthesia, a mingling of the senses may occur. Ordinary sense of time may morph into time dilation.

In terms of psychological risk, ketamine has been shown to worsen certain psychotic symptoms in people who suffer from schizophrenia or other serious mental disorders. An intake assessment is helpful to screen clients with other disorders, such as personality disorders or substance use, for a review of potential risks and benefit of treatment.

Is Ketamine Addictive?

Ketamine  “cravings” have been reported by individuals with the history of heavy use. In addition, ketamine can have effects on mood (feelings), cognition (thinking) and perception (imagery) that may make some people want to use it repeatedly. Therefore, ketamine should never be used except under the direct supervision of a licensed medical professional. However, in the context of Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy, ketamine has been shown to be safe.

What is a session like?

Typically, sessions take place at our clinic at 4730 SW Macadam Ave Suite 201, Portland OR, 97239. They last about 3 hours, but the length can vary from person to person. You will be mostly internally focused for the first 45 to 90 minutes following administration of ketamine. After that period, you will continue to remain under ketamine’s influence at a lesser level for at least another hour.

Under our care, ketamine will be administered as an IM injection in the shoulder at usual doses of 50 mg to 130 mg. The choice of dose will depend on prior exposure to ketamine or similar medicines, body weight, and sensitivity. Naive subjects will receive a lower dose initially. It is always better to start with a lower dose to reduce anxiety and become familiar with the effects.

Alternatively, the initial IM and subsequent IM sessions may be preceded by administration of one or more sublingual lozenges each containing 50-100 mg of ketamine. The lozenge will dissolve slowly, and we ask you not to swallow your saliva for at least 10 minutes. Ketamine will penetrate the oral mucosa, the lining of your mouth, and will be absorbed rapidly in that manner.

You and your provider will discuss in detail what method is right for you.

How many sessions will I have?

The number of sessions varies from person-to-person. Please discuss with your provider what might be right for you.

How do I prepare?

No KAP session can proceed without an evaluation from a licensed medical provider at our office. Upon their approval, our Programs Coordinator, Jess Duong, will reach out about pricing, scheduling, and any paperwork.

On the day of the sessions, we ask you not eat at least 4 hours before and that you have a ride to and from the clinic as driving following a session can be dangerous.

Please also follow any medication instructions that your provider gives you.

Wear comfortable clothes, bring a snack in case you’re hungry after and refrain from any substance use prior as it can negatively affect your experience. Pacific Premier Group provides an array of snacks to choose from.

How much does it cost?

Because KAP is such an individualized experience pricing can vary. Please reach out to Programs Coordinator Jess Duong at either 503-461-3447 or [email protected] for an estimate.

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