Ketamine is sweeping dance floors as the world’s fastest rising party drug, recently surpassing MDMA due to the drug’s explosion of popularity in the 2010s. Beyond its recreational use, however, the drug ketamine has undergone promising clinical trials in Australia and America to treat depression using IV drips with micro-doses of Ketamine.
An anesthetic drug, Ketamine is now increasingly being used as a revolutionary — and sometimes life-saving — medication for those struggling with treatment-resistant depression, who are chronically suicidal or experience frequent psychotic episodes. After turning to every treatment on the market, including over 40 sessions of electroshock therapy, one member of New Zealand’s trials, Jemima Lomax-Sawyers, associates Ketamine with saving her life:
“I am so much more stable than I was a year ago. Stable to the point that I am able to make decisions about my wellness that I would not have been able to make in the past…Things feel lighter inside my head. I have more energy, I can concentrate better.”
That is why Sawyers and others like her are extremely concerned that New Zealand’s only Ketamine Clinic would no longer be accepting new patients, and that current patients may be taken off its lists once new treatment plans are agreed upon with the country’s Ministry of Health.
“For many of us, ketamine was our last chance, our only chance for living a life out of hospital, or even for living full stop,” says Sawyers. “[K]etamine gave me some hope back: the glimmer that I might actually be able to live life without the constant worry of relapse, hospitalisation, then having to pick myself up and put all the pieces back together again and again and again.”