Psychedelic therapy is growing in popularity. There are many options for choosing a center to receive treatment, but it’s important to choose the right one. Here are some things to keep in mind and important questions to ask yourself in determining the right center for you.
Does the center have physicians on staff? Psychedelics are safest when they’re administered in a therapeutic environment supervised by qualified professionals. For ketamine-assisted therapy, includes board-certified anesthesiologists. These doctors can closely monitor your vitals and anesthesia levels during treatment.
What do they do to ensure psychedelic therapy is right for you? Depending on the treatment, this could mean everything from taking the patient’s medical history to performing an ECG.
Does the facility provide a safe setting for psychedelic therapy? Set and setting are key to having a positive psychedelic experience. A good center should offer patients a warm, dimly lit environment. Ambient music is a plus.
Do they offer IV infusions? In the rare event of a “bad trip,” the patient can stop the trip in a matter of minutes by alerting the doctor. The doctor can then stop the IV drip. Other methods of administration such as nasal spray, lozenges, and intramuscular injections cannot be stopped once administered.
How experienced are the center’s practitioners? Credentials are usually listed on the website. It’s a good sign if the center lists not only highly qualified medical professionals but also specialists who have trained or performed research, in the field of psychedelic therapy.
Is the center near you? It sounds like a simple consideration, but patients may find it comforting to undergo therapy in a nearby neighborhood. Traveling long distances for treatment could also be inconvenient.
A typical ketamine infusion session lasts only 45-60 minutes, but your therapist will likely schedule multiple sessions over the span of a few weeks. It’s also recommended to have someone to take you home afterward as you’ll be unable to drive yourself.
Does the center take your insurance? For ketamine-assisted therapy, the answer will most likely be probably not. Though ketamine is completely legal for medical use in the United States, its use in the treatment of mood disorders is not yet FDA-approved. There is one exception though.
The FDA has recently approved the use of ketamine nasal spray “Spravato”, in conjunction with an oral antidepressant to treat adults with certain conditions. These include either treatment-resistant depression or major depressive disorder with acute suicidal ideation or behavior.
Certified Spravato treatment centers may be covered by your insurance if you’ve been diagnosed with either of those disorders. However, nasal sprays can be very imprecise. The condition of the patient’s nose and the accuracy of their aim affects both dosage and rate of absorption.
How does the center make you feel? Trust your gut. Finding the right psychedelic therapy center is a bit like picking a partner. You won’t be undergoing psychedelic therapy alone—in fact, you and your center will be going through a lot together. You’ll know when you’ve found one you’re comfortable with.
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