Ketamine w/Concurrent Recreational Drugs

Taking recreational drugs alongside therapeutic ketamine treatments for mental health can lead to several risks, including adverse drug interactions, amplified side effects, and reduced effectiveness of ketamine therapy. Some of the concerns associated with combining recreational drugs, such as marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, MDMA, cocaine, and alcohol, with therapeutic ketamine are:

  1. Potentiation of side effects: Combining recreational drugs with ketamine may increase the risk of experiencing side effects, such as increased heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory issues. This can be dangerous, particularly for individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular or respiratory conditions.
  2. Drug interactions: Certain recreational drugs may interact with ketamine, leading to unpredictable effects, increased toxicity, or decreased treatment efficacy. For example, combining ketamine with other serotonergic drugs like LSD or MDMA could increase the risk of serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition. Mixing ketamine with stimulants like cocaine could result in dangerously elevated blood pressure and heart rate.
  3. Impaired judgment and increased risk-taking behavior: Combining recreational drugs with ketamine may impair judgment and lead to risky behaviors, which can be dangerous for individuals and others around them.
  4. Reduced effectiveness of ketamine treatment: The use of recreational drugs may interfere with the therapeutic benefits of ketamine, making it less effective in treating mental health conditions such as depression.

Clinics often require patients to suspend recreational drug use during ketamine treatment plans to ensure patient safety, minimize the risk of adverse effects, and maximize the potential therapeutic benefits. By doing so, clinicians can closely monitor and adjust treatment parameters to optimize patient outcomes.

Short, B., Fong, J., Galvez, V., Shelker, W., & Loo, C.K. (2018). Side-effects associated with ketamine use in depression: a systematic review. The Lancet Psychiatry, 5(1), 65-78.

Morgan, C. J., & Curran, H. V. (2012). Ketamine use: a review. Addiction, 107(1), 27-38.

Jansen, K. L. (2000). A review of the nonmedical use of ketamine: use, users, and consequences. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 32(4), 419-433.

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