We all have a hippie friend who’s all about vitamins, a healthy lifestyle, and yoga. They go on about how they’re against “the man” that’s trying to control us all. They detest and protest vaccines and prescription drugs all while snorting a line of cocaine and inhaling a puff of marijuana. They have good points, and we love them to no end, but you can’t deny how hilarious it is to hear them complain harmful hormones in foods after they just had a crazy weekend filled with psychedelic drugs. There are those crunchy granolas who know their stuff and avoid all harm to the body, but those who are in it for the title and the style, are about to reconsider all their opinions about their main enemies: pharmaceutical companies.
Psychiatrists have long been prescribing SSRI’s, (medications that inhibit the reuptake of our brain’s natural supply of the happiness chemical) to treat anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorders. Pharmaceutical companies, also known as “the devil’s little helpers” by our hippie friends, promote and supply these meds. Among the many negative side effects attributed to these drugs is a numb feeling. People who have been on them describe the inability to feel sad or happy. It all goes with our granola friend’s theory that the government is trying to program people like robots.
Recently, psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies have taken an interest in the pockets of those who “go hard” on the weekend. Researchers found that the psychedelic known as ketamine is useful in treating the same things that SSRI’s do. A professor at Yale University reportedly treated several patients with low doses of the drug. Ketamine was originally intended to be used as a sedative to keep patients unconscious during surgical procedures. Later, it made its way to being a club drug. It produces a feeling of deep relaxation, time distortion, vivid imagination, pain relief, and an out-of-the-body experience.
The drug also has a dark side. People may experience frightening hallucinations, confusion, amnesia and extreme aggressiveness. With the risk of having a “bad trip” included, psychiatrists still decided to give it a shot for patients with depression, PTSD, and anxiety. The results were astonishing; the drug is said to relieve these people of their desire to commit suicide. It’s especially useful for those who haven’t responded to traditional medications. SSRI’s are capable of having this effect, but it could take up to 2 months to start working. In fact, within the beginning stages of SSRI use, there is said to be an increased risk of suicidal thoughts. Ketamine skips this long “waiting” stage and starts working within one to twelve hours after consumption. Ketamine might be a matter of life or death.Professor Gerard Sanacora states that if there is knowledge of a person willing to harm themselves in the near future, there should be no reason not to use the psychedelic.
Ten years of research shows that the drug is effective, but a few more pieces to the puzzle are needed to get it approved for psychological treatments by the FDA. Researchers are working on understanding the effective and safe dosage to prescribe. Once that is defined, all that’s needed is a large scale study with positive results, and our “hippie” friends will be partnering up with “the devil’s little helpers.”
Corruption is unquestionable when it comes to pharmaceuticals, but there are psychiatrists, researchers, and doctors that are looking for people’s best interest. The white coat does not always have to be a sign of control; it could be a sign of a desire to help.