There is mounting evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the mental well-being of children and adolescents in Chicago and the United States. A survey by Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago has found that more than 4 in 10 children and adolescents have reported an increase in one or more mental health symptoms after the onset of the pandemic.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the number of calls to a Chicago charity from persons in mental health crises has risen to 300per week due to the COVID-19 outbreak. You may have come across ketamine-assisted psychotherapy in your research if you or a loved one has been suffering from depression or other mental health issues.
But what exactly is ketamine infusion therapy, and how do you find a clinic that checks all the boxes? This article will tell you what to look for in a ketamine clinic and how to find the best one in Chicago.
What Is Ketamine Infusion Therapy?
Ketamine is an FDA-approved dissociative anesthetic used in high doses to put people to sleep during surgery. It was first used during the Vietnam War as a painkiller and sleep-inducing drug for soldiers undergoing surgical procedures on the battlefield.
At a typical Chicago ketamine clinic, it is administered in lower doses to treat mood disorders like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Before you go ahead with the therapy, you will have a consultation to see if ketamine therapy is the best choice. A doctor or nurse will review your medical history, current medical records, and overall health goals. If you want to go through with the treatment, ketamine is usually given through an IV.
Benefits of Ketamine Therapy
Treatment-resistant depression is a kind of major depressive disorder that is diagnosed when patients have tried and failed two or more standard therapies. Because of their quick onset and high response rate, ketamine infusions have emerged as a promising therapy option.
Infusions of ketamine are not required daily. Patients are given ketamine at modest doses for a short period report long-lasting beneficial effects, and the drug begins to take action within hours to days. In contrast, other therapies can take weeks or months to show any improvement. Results from a 2019 study show that the antidepressant effects of ketamine are rapid and profound, appearing within minutes of the drug’s administration and remaining stable beyond one month.
Risks and Side Effects of Ketamine Therapy
Dizziness and nausea are the most common side effects of IV ketamine administration. In most cases, these side effects are mild and can be treated with preemptive medication before the infusion begins.
Since doctors only use low doses of ketamine, there’s no need to worry about long-term side effects, which have only been seen in people who take very high doses of ketamine every day.
As its minimal side effects and possible benefits outweigh its risks for most individuals, ketamine therapy is a good option for those seeking relief from mental health issues without changing their medication.
Insurance companies only cover a small number of ketamine treatments. As a result, you’ll find shady ketamine clinics opening up all over the country to take advantage of what they see as a great way to make money. How do you know which clinic in Chicago has the safest and most effective treatment when there are so many to choose from?
Anesthesiologists, who have the most experience with the drug, run some clinics. They don’t know much about mental health treatment, so they rely on referrals from psychiatrists and other mental health professionals. That means they only give you a drug and don’t know how to address your mental health needs better. Treating mental health problems means taking charge of your mental health and not just relying on pills to make you feel better. The underlying issues still need to be fixed through therapy.
Other clinics are run by psychiatrists who know how to care for their patient’s mental health needs but have never done infusion treatments before. This implies that they are counting on nurses to give and watch over the care.
Nurses don’t have the same level of knowledge and training as anesthesiologists regarding drug administration and the risks that could happen if it isn’t done right or if there are rare side effects.
So, even though you may be getting the best mental health care possible, the infusion treatment is not being done by the most skilled people. Anesthesiologists are trained to determine the lowest ketamine dose to cure your mental health issue and keep you safe.
This knowledge is vital when it comes to administering ketamine.
How to Choose the Right Ketamine Clinic?
Ketamine therapy can be expensive, and most insurance plans don’t cover it. If you want the best, safest, and most effective treatment, you should look for a place where psychiatrists and anesthesiologists work together.
The first step of treatment is a series of six one-hour infusions given twice or thrice a week for two to three weeks. Then follows a one-hour treatment about every four weeks as part of maintenance therapy. This time frame and, therefore, the treatment fees may change based on how long it takes for the first treatment to work. Thus, it’s essential to factor in the pricing before making the final call.
If you cannot secure your finances before the treatment begins, ask your insurance provider if they have payment plans for your therapy plan so that you can sign up for it ahead of time.
Pick a clinic that has the following:
- medical professionals who are licensed and “board-certified” to administer the drug
- on-site psychotherapists or a willingness to collaborate with your current therapist on your treatment plan
- clean, well-lit spaces
- office hours that work with your schedule
- a treatment plan tailored to fit your needs
Settling for the wrong ketamine clinic in Chicago can hurt your health. If you want to save money on ketamine treatment, don’t risk your health or go to a clinic that isn’t well-run. Ketamine therapy can help people with severe depression get better. However, it must be administered under strict medical supervision in a clinical setting for the treatment to be safe for the patient.