U.K. Doctors want to prescribe dangerous party drug Special K for depression

Big Pharma is at it again. Canada’s CBC News is reporting that Johnson & Johnson is in the process of developing an intra-nasal version of the street drug ketamine, also known as “Special K,” for the treatment of severely depressed patients who have not responded to other forms of treatment. The pharmaceutical giant is calling the drug “esketamine.”

The study into the merits of this form of treatment was conducted by researchers from Oxford University, and published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry. Rupert McShane, a consultant psychiatrist and the lead author of the Oxford study, claims that he has seen ketamine work where absolutely nothing else has helped. But what is ketamine, and what dangers would such a course of treatment pose?

Ketamine is well-known for two reasons: It is a pharmaceutical drug commonly used for veterinary and medical purposes as a tranquilizer or anesthetic, and it is also a dangerous street drug that causes the user to feel very relaxed, even sedated, and to experience hallucinations.

Private ketamine clinics have been popping up all over the United States, and problems have already started to arise. Admission and treatment protocols vary greatly in these clinics, leading to a dangerous level of inconsistency.

Nonetheless, the authors of the Oxford study are naively convinced that while street use of Special K can cause serious bladder problems, brain damage, coma, long-term psychosis, organ and tissue damage, and even death, patients receiving just 80 milligrams of the drug, once a week, will not become addicted and will not suffer any of ketamine’s deadly side effects.

As a person who has suffered from depression before, I am immediately skeptical. If you have suffered for years with untreatable depression, and once a week are given a chance to feel normal again, the temptation to seek out that feeling on a more regular basis by turning to the street version of the drug will be immense. And by their very nature, these types of drugs have to be taken in ever increasing amounts for the effects to be felt. So, what’s going to happen when a depression sufferer initially experiences relief from the ketamine, but then the low dose stops working? Even if their medical practitioner refuses to up the dose, it would be easy to find relief on the streets.

Make no error: Ketamine is truly dangerous. The website All About Counseling explains: “During drug use, a ketamine user will feel very sedated. Muscles may feel relaxed and hallucinations may occur. A ketamine overdose may create feelings of unease or nausea, and the user may begin vomiting. This is particularly dangerous if the ketamine user is unconscious, as their airways can be clogged making it impossible to breath. [sic] The central nervous system can also be slowed to the point where serious damage, death, or coma occurs.”

But, if nothing else works, maybe the risk is worth it? Well, is there perhaps something natural that might work just as well without the risk of death? There is a very interesting statement in the CBC News article: “[Esketamine’s] results so far have been promising enough for U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials to speed its progress through regulatory hurdles.” [Emphasis added]

Hmm … the FDA is speeding this deadly drug with its awful side effects and potential for addiction and even death through regulatory hurdles? And yet, while studies have found that the endocannabinoids in marijuana can help stabilize mood and ease depression, and not a single person has ever died of a marijuana overdose, the FDA and DEA continue to label it as a schedule 1 drug, along with heroin, LSD and Ecstasy.

Is it just me, or does anyone else smell a rat when a natural, safe treatment is deemed illegal, but the process of approving an illegal street drug for pharmaceutical purposes is rushed through for Big Pharma?

Read PsychDrugWatch.com for more news on the dangers of psychiatric drugs.

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