Though they are not fully approved yet for treatment, Health Canada has recently issued a statement with the intent of revising the Special Access Programme, which allows individuals to access other regulated substances for the treatment of various health issues if other means have failed. We are in the process of collecting the information of potential candidates for applications for these treatments, should the revision to the SAP go through in early 2021.
What is ketamine?
Ketamine is a synthetic medicine classified as a dissociative anesthetic. It is a widely used anesthetic and is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. It was developed in 1963, approved for use in 1970, and adopted by many jurisdictions because of its rapid onset, proven safety, and short duration of action.Though ketamine is most commonly used as an anesthetic agent in surgical and emergency department settings due to its good safety profile, it has also been utilized successfully in managing acute and chronic pain conditions.While ketamine is known to be used recreationally as a street drug outside of medical applications, its use in this context is unrelated to medical and therapeutic use, which has been shown to be safe and associated with positive outcomes.In the last two decades, ketamine has been increasingly used as a treatment for various mental health conditions, such as depression, substance use disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other mental health conditions. If you have any questions or concerns about ketamine itself, do not hesitate to inquire with the Numinus medical team about it during the screening process.
What is Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy?
Our ketamine treatment offerings are flexible and are designed to meet your individual needs and goals and best support you on your healing journey. Though we offer many options for our ketamine treatments, there is no need to feel overwhelmed in making your choice; our clinical team will help you to decide what form of treatment will best meet your current needs and healing goals.Our treatment options include:Ketamine Treatment Standard ProgramWhat is Ketamine Treatment?Ketamine-assisted therapy combines structured therapy with the medical administration of ketamine. When used in controlled doses, ketamine is a medicine that can cause altered states of consciousness. Recent research has shown that, when combined with forms of therapy by trained mental health professionals, these psychedelic experiences can enable some individuals to overcome a broad range of mental health challenges, ranging from depression and anxiety to addiction and trauma.In the context of ketamine-assisted therapy, the aim is to harness the openness of this altered state by combining it with structured therapy to engage with and process strong emotions that may otherwise be painful or simply difficult to access. Working on this emotional awareness with your therapist may then make it possible to ‘reorganize’ core experiences, see important relationships in a new light, create a coherent and meaningful narrative that supports positive transformation, and to come into balance. The Standard Program includes two Preparation Sessions, three Ketamine-Assisted Therapy Sessions, three Integration Sessions, and a Closing Session; and Introductory Program with one Ketamine-Assisted Therapy Session is also available.Flexible Ketamine TreatmentThough our Standard Program is expected to provide the best and most lasting results, research has also shown ketamine to be beneficial without therapy. We also offer ketamine medicine as a standalone treatment, without one-to-one preparation and integration with a therapist. This is ideal for clients with therapy experience who are well supported in the community. Here, we allow you to build your own healing program with the assistance of our clinical team. You can choose between several session types to meet your current needs and healing goals. At the core of this program are Ketamine Sessions; in these sessions, you are given ketamine under medical supervision, but your experience is not guided by a therapist. You may also choose to add in Preparation or Integration Sessions with a therapist to better support you through your experience. This journey is entirely customizable, and our clinic staff will help you to design an individual program that will work best for you. You can always switch things up as you go along, adding in more sessions if you feel the need for further support.Spravato®Our Spravato® treatment is a structured program that involves 12 Spravato® Sessions. In these sessions, you will be given Spravato®—a branded form of ketamine—under medical supervision, but without a therapist to guide you through the ketamine experience.
How does the process work? How many sessions do I have to do?
Our ketamine treatments are flexible, designed to meet your individual needs and goals and best support you on your healing journey. In our treatment options, your ketamine experience can involve a guiding therapist, or you may choose to engage in healing without a therapist. During ketamine sessions, short-term changes in your state of consciousness occur that can help you feel connected with your inner healing capacity and enhance your ability to meaningfully engage in therapy. You may be able to process strong emotions and memories that may otherwise be too painful or difficult to access and help you to experience personal breakthroughs that may resolve some of the root causes of mental health conditions.
How is the ketamine administered?
We presently use rapid dissolving tablets that are dissolved in the mouth for initial ketamine doses and nasal spray for supplemental doses. Your team will work with you to determine and adjust your dose for each session, helping you ease into the experience. Each time ketamine is administered, your response will be closely monitored. We also offer ketamine intramuscular injection and Spravato®.
What is the actual experience like?
Ketamine can be administered via intravenous infusion (IV), ad intramuscular injection (IM), nasal sprays, and rapid dissolving tablets; at Numinus, we currently use nasal sprays and tablets. After taking a rigorous, client-centred approach to determine whether KAT is the appropriate treatment for your situation, your medical team will work with you to find the correct dosage.The physical and emotional effects of ketamine will differ from person to person; however, common experiences include:
Our rooms for ketamine dosing sessions have been intentionally designed to ensure your comfort and support your journey. You may choose to be in a reclined or semi-reclined position, wear eyeshades, and listen to music to enhance the experience.
- Altered states of consciousness and feeling separated from reality
- Disruption of negative feelings
- Relaxation of ordinary concerns and usual mindset
- A sense of euphoria
- A dream-like or “floating” sensation
- An altered sense of time (losing track of time; time slowing down or speeding up)
- Diminished or altered body sensations; some people may have an “out-of-body” experience, where awareness of the physical body is reduced
- Tunnel vision, or seeing things through a fog
- Pain reduction
- Mild changes in perceptions of sounds and sights
- It’s also possible to have uncomfortable feelings or suppressed traumas arise. Safety and care are the top priorities of our team members, and your therapists will be there to support you as you navigate any challenging experiences.