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posted by martyb on Sunday December 17 2017, @02:55AM   Printer-friendly
from the improved-outlook dept.

Study: Suicidal Thoughts Rapidly Reduced with Ketamine

Ketamine was significantly more effective than a commonly used sedative in reducing suicidal thoughts in depressed patients, according to researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). They also found that ketamine's anti-suicidal effects occurred within hours after its administration.

The findings were published online last week in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Ketamine for Rapid Reduction of Suicidal Thoughts in Major Depression: A Midazolam-Controlled Randomized Clinical Trial (DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.17060647) (DX)

The reduction in SSI score at day 1 was 4.96 points greater for the ketamine group compared with the midazolam group (95% CI=2.33, 7.59; Cohen's d=0.75). The proportion of responders (defined as having a reduction ≥50% in SSI score) at day 1 was 55% for the ketamine group and 30% for the midazolam group (odds ratio=2.85, 95% CI=1.14, 7.15; number needed to treat=4.0). Improvement in the Profile of Mood States depression subscale was greater at day 1 for the ketamine group compared with the midazolam group (estimate=7.65, 95% CI=1.36, 13.94), and this effect mediated 33.6% of ketamine's effect on SSI score. Side effects were short-lived, and clinical improvement was maintained for up to 6 weeks with additional optimized standard pharmacotherapy in an uncontrolled follow-up.

Wikipedia's entry on midazolam notes:

Midazolam, marketed under the trade name Versed, among others, is a medication used for anesthesia, procedural sedation, trouble sleeping, and severe agitation. It works by inducing sleepiness, decreasing anxiety, and causing a loss of ability to create new memories. It is also useful for the treatment of seizures

Related: 4/20: The Third Time's Not the Charm
Study Suggests Psilocybin "Resets" the Brains of Depressed People


Original Submission

Related Stories

4/20: The Third Time's Not the Charm 55 comments

Past articles: 20152016

What's up, Soylenteers? I've got to write another one of these? #420TooMainstream.

Legalization Status

Timeline of cannabis laws in the United States
Timeline of cannabis law

Since this time last year, Ohio, Florida, North Dakota, and Arkansas legalized medical cannabis, Illinois decriminalized it, and California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts legalized recreational cannabis. An attempt to legalize recreational cannabis in Arizona narrowly failed.

29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for medical use, although restrictions vary widely from state to state.

Germany's medical cannabis law was approved in January and came into effect in March. Poland has also legalized medical cannabis, and Georgia's Supreme Court has ruled that imprisonment for possession of small amounts of cannabis is unconstitutional.

Recently: West Virginia on Course for Medical Marijuana

🍁 Cannada: Not So Fast 🍁

Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled (archive) legislation (archive) that would make Canada the first major Western country to legalize recreational cannabis (the only country to legalize it to date is Uruguay, although implementation has taken years), dealing a serious blow to the crumbling United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. However, the Liberal Party of Canada intends to wait more than a year to act on its campaign promise, during which time Canadians can still face prosecution for possession of the drug:

True to form, this government has written down a series of talking points, in this case, trying to make it sound like it's cracking down on pot rather than legalizing it. And Justin Trudeau's ministers are sticking to the messaging from party central like a child reciting Dr. Seuss.

Not once in that As It Happens interview did [Justice Minister Jody] Wilson-Raybould explain why the government intends to keep on criminalizing Canadians so unfairly (see the Liberal party's website statement) for another year. Instead, literally every second time she opened her mouth, she re-spouted the line about "strictly regulating and restricting access." Off asked eight questions. Four times, Wilson-Raybould robotically reverted to the same phrase.

Meanwhile, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, a parliamentary lifer who mastered the art of repetitive dronetalk sometime back in the last millennium, was out peddling more or less the same line, but with an added warning: Not only will the government continue to criminalize Canadians for what it considers a trifling offence, enforcement will be vigorous. "Existing laws prohibiting possession and use of cannabis remain in place, and they need to be respected," Goodale declared. "This must be an orderly transition. It is not a free-for-all." Why the government cannot simply decide to invoke prosecutorial and police discretion, and cease enforcing the cannabis laws it considers unjust, was not explained. Why that would necessarily be a "free for all" also went unexplained.

The Liberal Party of Canada has taken pains to remind everyone that the Conservative Party will "do everything they can to stop real change and protect a failed status quo". Unfortunately, they did not get the memo that "marijuana" is a term with racist origins.

Make like a tree and legalize it, Cannadia... Cannibinoidia.

President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Backtrack to April 20th, 2016. Bernie Sanders still seemingly had a shot at becoming the President of the United States. Sanders, as well as Hillary Clinton (though begrudgingly), supported decriminalization of cannabis, medical use, and the continuation of states making decisions about recreational use. The #2 Republican candidate Ted Cruz also had a "let the states sort it out" stance.

One contender stood out, and he went on to become the @POTUS to #MAGA. The widely predicted "third term" was prevented, and that outcome may greatly affect a burgeoning semi-legal cannabis industry. One recent casualty are Amsterdam-style "cannabis clubs" (think: brewpubs). Colorado's legislature has backed off on a bill that would have allowed on-site consumption of cannabis at dispensaries due to the uncertain future of federal enforcement of cannabis prohibition.

Trump's position on cannabis has been ill-defined, although he supports medical use and has indicated that states should handle the issue. But the same can't be said of his Attorney General, former Senator Jeff Sessions. Here are some quotes about the drug from Mr. Sessions:

I thought those guys were OK until I learned they smoked pot. [Source. Context: Sessions later testified that the comment was a joke.]

We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it's in fact a very real danger.

I think one of [President Obama's] great failures, it's obvious to me, is his lax treatment in comments on marijuana... It reverses 20 years almost of hostility to drugs that began really when Nancy Reagan started 'Just Say No.

You can't have the President of the United States of America talking about marijuana like it is no different than taking a drink... It is different... It is already causing a disturbance in the states that have made it legal.

Good people don't smoke marijuana.

Cannabis advocates are becoming increasingly paranoid about the federal government's stance towards the states (and a certain District) that have legalized cannabis. And this is following an Obama administration that was criticized for conducting raids in states with legalization. It is too early to tell how the Trump administration will choose to deal with cannabis, but there are signs that harsher policies and greater enforcement could be coming:

On Wednesday, [April 5th,] Jeff Sessions directed Justice Department lawyers to evaluate marijuana enforcement policy and send him recommendations. And some state officials are worried. This week the governors of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington wrote the attorney general. They asked Sessions and the new Treasury secretary to consult with them before making any changes to regulations or enforcement.

At the White House, press secretary Sean Spicer said recently that the president is sympathetic to people who use marijuana for medical reasons. He pointed out that Congress has acted to bar the Justice Department from using federal money to interfere in state medical cannabis programs. But Spicer took a harsh view of recreational marijuana. "When you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we need to be doing is encouraging people. There is still a federal law we need to abide by," Spicer said.

Really, Spicer? Recreational cannabis use shouldn't be encouraged during an opioid addiction crisis? Read on.

Politics nexus unavailable for comment.

The Opioid Crisis Drags On (it's relevant)

Heroin use has become more dangerous as dealers have increasingly added other substances that massively increase potency without affecting the size of a dose significantly. Carfentanil, which is used as an elephant tranquilizer, has led to hundreds of deaths over very short timespans. It is impossible for the average user to predict the potency and potential danger of street heroin. While there have been international responses to these compounds, new chemical analogues are being created all the time:

Chinese labs producing the synthetic opiates play hide-and-seek with authorities. On their websites, they list fake addresses in derelict shopping centers or shuttered factories, and use third-party sales agents to conduct transactions that are hard to trace. The drugs themselves are easy to find with a Google search and to buy with a few mouse clicks. A recent check found more than a dozen Chinese sites advertising fentanyl, carfentanil, and other derivatives, often labeled as "research chemicals," for sale through direct mail shipments to the United States. On one website, carfentanil goes for $361 for 50 grams: tens of thousands of lethal doses.

The cat-and-mouse game extends to chemistry, as the makers tinker with fentanyl itself. Minor modifications like adding an oxygen atom or shifting a methyl group can be enough to create whole new entities that are no longer on the list of sanctioned compounds. Carfentanil itself was, until recently, unregulated in China.

2016 saw the addition of kratom to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act in the U.S. Advocates for the tree leaf drug, which was formerly classified as a supplement, believe that its painkiller effects and low risk factors make it a useful replacement for the oft-deadly opioids that millions of Americans are addicted to. Kratom users have treated their pain and opioid withdrawal symptoms using the formerly "legal high". The DEA has refused to acknowledge this application and points out the "skyrocketing" number of calls to the Poison Control Center regarding kratom in recent years. One skeptic of kratom, Dr. Josh Bloom of the American Council on Science and Health, has looked at the same evidence and concluded that the trail of bodies left by substances like fentanyl and the scarce number of deaths (perhaps wrongly) attributed to kratom make it clear that the substance is the better "poison". He also notes that:

The number of calls to poison control centers is not reliable for determining how many poisonings actually occurred. It is a crude approximation at best.

Much like kratom, medical cannabis has been touted as a solution to the opioid crisis. States with legalized medical cannabis have seen a reduction in reported instances of opioid dependence [DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.01.006] [DX] So it is puzzling that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer would use opioids as a bludgeon against cannabis legalization while AG Sessions expresses astonishment over the suggestion of using cannabis as a "cure" for the opioid crisis.

Bonus: Here's a video (2m14s) of a woman getting administered Narcan/naloxone. Here's an alternate video (2m39s) in which a man who overdosed on heroin is able to sit up in about a minute after being administered naloxone.

⚚ The Slow March for Science ⚕

While the Drug Enforcement Agency has refused to reclassify cannabis from its current Schedule I status, citing the supposedly rigorous conclusions reached by the Food and Drug Administration, it will allow more than one institution to grow cannabis for research purposes, ending the monopoly held by the University of Mississippi. However, the Schedule I status of cannabis remains an impediment to further research:

[...] DEA's decision not to reschedule marijuana presents a Catch-22. By ruling that there is not enough evidence of "currently accepted medical use"—a key distinction between the highly restrictive Schedule I classification and the less restrictive Schedule II—the administration essentially makes it harder to gather such evidence.

"They're setting a standard that can't be met," says David Bradford, a health economist at the University of Georgia, Athens. "That level of proof is never going to be forthcoming in the current environment because it requires doing a really extensive clinical trial series, and given that a pharmaceutical company can't patent whole plant marijuana, it's in no company's interest to do that."

Schedule I status presents obstacles for clinical researchers because of restrictions on how the drugs must be stored and handled, Bradford says. Perhaps more significant, that listing may evoke skittishness at funding agencies and on the institutional review boards that must sign off on research involving human subjects.

Researchers have disparaged the quality and potency as well as the appearance and odor of the University of Mississippi's cannabis products:

"It doesn't resemble cannabis. It doesn't smell like cannabis," Sisley told PBS NewsHour last week.

Jake Browne, a cannabis critic for the Denver Post's Cannabist marijuana news site, agrees. "That is, flat out, not a usable form of cannabis," he said. Browne should know: He's reviewed dozens of strains professionally and is running a sophisticated marijuana growing competition called the Grow-Off.

"In two decades of smoking weed, I've never seen anything that looks like that," Browne said. "People typically smoke the flower of the plant, but here you can clearly see stems and leaves in there as well, parts that should be discarded. Inhaling that would be like eating an apple, including the seeds inside it and the branch it grew on."

Research on cannabinoids and psychedelics is proceeding, slowly. One study published yesterday (74 years after the first LSD trip) came to an astounding conclusion: Psychedelics can induce a "heightened state of consciousness":

Healthy volunteers who received LSD, ketamine or psilocybin, a compound found in magic mushrooms, were found to have more random brain activity than normal while under the influence, according to a study into the effects of the drugs. The shift in brain activity accompanied a host of peculiar sensations that the participants said ranged from floating and finding inner peace, to distortions in time and a conviction that the self was disintegrating.

[...] What we find is that under each of these psychedelic compounds, this specific measure of global conscious level goes up, so it moves in the other direction. The neural activity becomes more unpredictable," said Anil Seth, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Sussex. "Until now, we've only ever seen decreases compared to the baseline of the normal waking state."

Inconceivable!

Increased spontaneous MEG signal diversity for psychoactive doses of ketamine, LSD and psilocybin (open, DOI: 10.1038/srep46421) (DX)

♯ Ending on High Notes ♯

Vape Naysh, y'all!

Study Suggests Psilocybin "Resets" the Brains of Depressed People 58 comments

An fMRI study has found evidence of a reduction in depressive symptoms after treatment with psilocybin:

A hallucinogen found in magic mushrooms can "reset" the brains of people with untreatable depression, raising hopes of a future treatment, scans suggest.

The small study gave 19 patients a single dose of the psychedelic ingredient psilocybin. Half of patients ceased to be depressed and experienced changes in their brain activity that lasted about five weeks.

However, the team at Imperial College London says people should not self-medicate.

There has been a series of small studies suggesting psilocybin could have a role in depression by acting as a "lubricant for the mind" that allows people to escape a cycle of depressive symptoms. But the precise impact it might be having on brain activity was not known.

Psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression: fMRI-measured brain mechanisms (open, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-13282-7) (DX)


Original Submission

Studies Identify How Ketamine Can Reverse Symptoms of Depression 26 comments

New studies zero in on roots of depression and why ketamine reverses it

[There's] been significant progress in unravelling the confusion over ketamine, with researchers identifying a ketamine derivative that tackles depression with far fewer side effects. And this week, a team of researchers at China's Zhejiang University announced that they've figured out where in the brain ketamine acts when it blocks depression, a finding that gives us significant insights into the biology of the disorder.

The new studies rely on the work of a number of other labs, which have identified a specific structure deep in the brain that's associated with depression. Called the lateral habenula, it's been associated with a variety of activities, the most relevant of which seems to be the processing of unpleasant outcomes and punishment. Electrodes implanted there have been used to relieve depression in at least one instance.

To test whether this might be the site of ketamine's activity, one team of researchers infused the drug directly into the lateral habenula of rats with depression-like symptoms; it blocked them. So did a separate chemical that inhibits the same proteins that ketamine acts on. Tracking the activity in the area, the researchers were able to show that there are bursts of activity in rats with symptoms of depression that are absent in healthy rats. The drugs that blocked depression suppressed these bursts.

Ketamine blocks bursting in the lateral habenula to rapidly relieve depression (DOI: 10.1038/nature25509) (DX)

Astroglial Kir4.1 in the lateral habenula drives neuronal bursts in depression (DOI: 10.1038/nature25752) (DX)

Related: FDA Designates MDMA as a "Breakthrough Therapy" for PTSD; Approves Phase 3 Trials
Study Suggests Psilocybin "Resets" the Brains of Depressed People
Ketamine Reduces Suicidal Thoughts in Depressed Patients


Original Submission

Ketamine Shows Promise as a Fast-Acting Treatment for Depression 14 comments

Ketamine could become an approved treatment for depression in the UK soon:

Ketamine has 'fast-acting benefits' for depression

Ketamine has "shown promise" in the rapid treatment of major depression and suicidal thoughts, a US study says. Ketamine has a reputation as a party drug but is licensed as an anaesthetic. The study found use of the drug via a nasal spray led to "significant" improvements in depressive symptoms in the first 24 hours. The Royal College of Psychiatrists said it was a "significant" study that brought the drug "a step closer to being prescribed on the NHS".

The report by researchers from Janssen Research and Development, a Johnson and Johnson company, and Yale School of Medicine, is the first study into ketamine as a treatment for depression that has been done by a drug company.

[...] The study found those using esketamine had a much greater improvement in depression symptoms at all points over the first four weeks of treatment. However, at 25 days the effects had levelled out. The study's authors suggest it could offer an effective rapid treatment for people severely depressed and at imminent risk of suicide and could help in the initial stages of treatment, as most anti-depressants take four to six weeks to become fully effective.

Also at Medical Daily.

Efficacy and Safety of Intranasal Esketamine for the Rapid Reduction of Symptoms of Depression and Suicidality in Patients at Imminent Risk for Suicide: Results of a Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study (DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2018.17060720) (DX)

Can a Framework Be Established for the Safe Use of Ketamine? (DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2018.18030290) (DX)

Related: FDA Designates MDMA as a "Breakthrough Therapy" for PTSD; Approves Phase 3 Trials
Study Suggests Psilocybin "Resets" the Brains of Depressed People
Ketamine Reduces Suicidal Thoughts in Depressed Patients
Studies Identify How Ketamine Can Reverse Symptoms of Depression
Over Years, Depression Changes the Brain, new Study Shows


Original Submission

Groundbreaking Ketamine-Derived Treatment for Depression Approved by the U.S. FDA 24 comments

Fast-Acting Depression Drug, Newly Approved, Could Help Millions

Of the 16 million American adults who live with depression, as many as one-quarter gain little or no benefit from available treatments, whether drugs or talk therapy. They represent perhaps the greatest unmet need in psychiatry. On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration approved a prescription treatment intended to help them, a fast-acting drug derived from an old and widely used anesthetic, ketamine.

The move heralds a shift from the Prozac era of antidepressant drugs. The newly approved treatment, called esketamine, is a nasal spray developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a branch of Johnson & Johnson, that will be marketed under the name Spravato. It contains an active portion of the ketamine molecule, whose antidepressant properties are not well understood yet. "Thank goodness we now have something with a different mechanism of action than previous antidepressants," said Dr. Erick Turner, a former F.D.A. reviewer and an associate professor of psychiatry at Oregon Health & Science University. "But I'm skeptical of the hype, because in this world it's like Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown: Each time we get our hopes up, the football gets pulled away."

[...] Esketamine, like ketamine, has the potential for abuse, and both drugs can induce psychotic episodes in people who are at high risk for them. The safety monitoring will require doctors to find space for treated patients, which could present a logistical challenge, some psychiatrists said.

The wholesale cost for a course of treatment will be between $2,360 and $3,540, said Janssen, and experts said it will give the company a foothold in the $12 billion global antidepressant market, where most drugs now are generic.

[...] One question that will need to be answered is how well esketamine performs in comparison to intravenous ketamine.

Also at STAT News, Reuters, and NPR.

Previously: Ketamine Reduces Suicidal Thoughts in Depressed Patients
Studies Identify How Ketamine Can Reverse Symptoms of Depression
Ketamine Shows Promise as a Fast-Acting Treatment for Depression

Related:


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @03:01AM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @03:01AM (#610838)

    Death! Death reduces suicidal thoughts in depressed patients. Let's proscribe "death"? No???

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Sunday December 17 2017, @03:09AM (2 children)

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Sunday December 17 2017, @03:09AM (#610839) Journal

      That's for the control group.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @03:25AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @03:25AM (#610843)

        No problem. A full frontal lobotomy may also work, or how about opiate addiction? Have you ever taken a serious dose of Ketamine? I'm not sure you'd have posted this story if you had.

        • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:36AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:36AM (#610859)

          What about Jimsonweed? I want to hear that story about Jimsonweed again.

    • (Score: 2) by Hartree on Sunday December 17 2017, @07:58PM

      by Hartree (195) on Sunday December 17 2017, @07:58PM (#611062)

      Ok. You first!

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday December 17 2017, @03:27AM (10 children)

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Sunday December 17 2017, @03:27AM (#610844) Homepage

    Isn't that that horse tranquilizer shit that causes people to disrobe outside and walk down the streets laughin' and pissin'?

    Midazolam doesn't sound much better, Hannibal Lecter comes to mind in drugging others with meds that are given to brain surgery patients to remain responsive during a neurosurgery.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @03:50AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @03:50AM (#610845)

      Ketamine works better than the alternatives and can be done with one weekend session every couple of months along with therapy to work through the long term issues.

      Given that said member is in a high stress job, this has worked out quite well for them, and unlike alternative treatments doesn't run afoul of their on-the job drug restrictions like other solutions would. By the time they are back at work they are clean, clearheaded, and stress free.

      That is better than 9/10s of us out here working a 9-5.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:27AM (2 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:27AM (#610855)

      Ketamine isn't just for horses... I've used it on little pigs too, really takes the edge off their anxiety.

      Seems that most of the key to curing suicidal depression is forgetting why you want to kill yourself, and special K is right up there with ECT for memory wiping, at least temporarily.

      Now, if people could only rearrange their lives and their expectations of what life should be, so they weren't miserable in the first place, the drugs wouldn't be necessary.

      --
      Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://www.newsweek.com/russian-state-tv-ukraine-war-dirty-bomb-putin-1754428
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @05:06AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @05:06AM (#610866)

        Now, if people could only rearrange their lives and their expectations of what life should be, so they weren't miserable in the first place, the drugs wouldn't be necessary.

        You fundamentally misunderstand depression.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Hartree on Sunday December 17 2017, @08:19PM

          by Hartree (195) on Sunday December 17 2017, @08:19PM (#611070)

          Bingo. As someone who has had to deal with (well controlled) major depression for decades, I can tell you it's a lot more than just letting things build up on you. That's what you see from the outside, but the effect is that of putting a negative cast on the world no matter what the reality is. And that viewpoint is just as hard to disbelieve as telling yourself that the fire your hand is smoldering in is not real and you should ignore it. (Yes, it can be done to some extent, but just telling someone to do it without a lot of training (therapy, etc.) is probably futile)

          The way it's starting to appear Ketamine works for depression is to some extent unrelated to the subjective feelings it generates in your mind. Though it dissociates some of the pain, it apparently (the research is still ongoing) causes the rapid formation of many more synapse junctions between nerve cells in some parts of the brain. That may be why the antidepressant effects seem to be delayed by a few hours. You have to synthesize all the proteins and other components of those new synapses and move them into place.

          Similarly, some researchers suspect that the delay of weeks for SSRIs to take effect is that nerve cells are developing from neural stem cells and moving into position. Not surprisingly, this takes time.

          I put all those qualifiers in because this is a very active area of research and we don't understand it very well. This is the best guess the last I knew, but is subject to someone finding out that parts or all of it is wrong. That's science in action.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Azuma Hazuki on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:38AM (4 children)

      by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:38AM (#610860) Journal

      Why do you always sound like you have firsthand experience with stuff like this?

      --
      I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
      • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:44AM (3 children)

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:44AM (#610864) Homepage

        " Isn't that that horse tranquilizer shit that causes people to disrobe outside and walk down the streets laughin' and pissin'? "

        Maybe because I don't. Or maybe because I didn't need the excuse of a hard drug to walk down the streets pissin' and laughin'.

        • (Score: 2) by Hartree on Sunday December 17 2017, @08:00PM (2 children)

          by Hartree (195) on Sunday December 17 2017, @08:00PM (#611064)

          I'd classify alcohol as a hard drug.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @08:37PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @08:37PM (#611074)

            Nah, it's pretty easy. You drink it, and it just works.

            • (Score: 2) by Hartree on Sunday December 17 2017, @08:44PM

              by Hartree (195) on Sunday December 17 2017, @08:44PM (#611079)

              You've probably never tried to find a bootlegger in an unfamiliar dry town on Sunday morning.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @10:05AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @10:05AM (#610939)

      Due to its safety its also been used on children, the 're-emergence' effected experienced by adults results in too many people babbling about seeing god which embarrassed the doctors who had a job to do and didn't want to explain or discuss it. In the absence of a skilled anesthetist ketamine is an obvious choice.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @03:51AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @03:51AM (#610846)

    This is now two drug articles in a row from martyb and takyon. I think they ought to check into rehab.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by takyon on Sunday December 17 2017, @03:59AM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Sunday December 17 2017, @03:59AM (#610848) Journal

      If we did that, we wouldn't be able to inform you of these great treatments for your crippling depression.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday December 17 2017, @08:38AM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday December 17 2017, @08:38AM (#610911) Homepage Journal

        They don't have wifi at the rehab center? Hell, man, just take a router with you, and hook the damned thing up! The luddites won't have any idea what you're doing!

        --
        "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
    • (Score: 2) by Hartree on Sunday December 17 2017, @08:03PM

      by Hartree (195) on Sunday December 17 2017, @08:03PM (#611065)

      It's strictly for medicinal and research purposes. ;)

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @03:52AM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @03:52AM (#610847)

    Drugs make you feel good! News at 11

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:13AM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:13AM (#610850)

      Well, the way I heard it, the illegal drugs make you feel good. Legal ones not so much. But my information is from the dark ages (1970s), haven't kept up since getting out of college.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:24AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:24AM (#610854)

        All illegal drugs were legal once, legality is just a filter for effectiveness in this puritanical age.

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @05:09AM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @05:09AM (#610867)

          Yep. If you want something that will help cure a mental difficulty holding you back, you're not going to find it in the legal selection. You might become successful without that mental difficulty, and people who are already successful hate competition.

          • (Score: 5, Insightful) by deimios on Sunday December 17 2017, @05:59AM (1 child)

            by deimios (201) Subscriber Badge on Sunday December 17 2017, @05:59AM (#610874) Journal

            No need to go looking for conspiracy theories when you can blame capitalism: Treatments that temporarily suppress symptoms bring in boatloads more money than treatments that eliminate the sickness.

            • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @06:39AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @06:39AM (#610882)

              There's also the control element - if people depend on you for medicine, you have power over them. Curing people relinquishes that power. Keeping addictive drugs illegal is also a power thing. When someone has a dependency on a substance that isn't legal you can exploit and control them at every turn, whether it's through the law or through the substances. Prohibition is an authoritarian's wet dream.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Pav on Sunday December 17 2017, @07:40AM (6 children)

    by Pav (114) on Sunday December 17 2017, @07:40AM (#610892)

    I was given Ketamine, but it doesn't kill pain... it just makes you not care. I was in agony due to gallstone pain, and in less than 24 hours they took my gall bladder out (yay universal healthcare). The head nurse said they should discontinue the ketamine. I KNEW I was in screaming agony, and I also knew if they stopped I'd begin to care about it again, but even though I KNEW this I also didn't care enough to tell them. Weird weird stuff, and I can't understand why anyone would want to do it recreationally, although if someone is in emotional pain I can certainly see how it would help.

    • (Score: 2) by cubancigar11 on Sunday December 17 2017, @11:21AM (3 children)

      by cubancigar11 (330) on Sunday December 17 2017, @11:21AM (#610956) Homepage Journal

      Hallucinations?

      • (Score: 2) by Pav on Sunday December 17 2017, @12:21PM (2 children)

        by Pav (114) on Sunday December 17 2017, @12:21PM (#610965)

        I never hallucinated. Is that meant to be a side-effect?

    • (Score: 2) by Hartree on Sunday December 17 2017, @08:06PM (1 child)

      by Hartree (195) on Sunday December 17 2017, @08:06PM (#611066)

      It's a dissociator. I've heard their effects described as thinking "Wow. That's a lot of pain. I'm glad it's not happening to me."

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Pav on Sunday December 17 2017, @09:03PM

        by Pav (114) on Sunday December 17 2017, @09:03PM (#611089)

        Vilanor Ramachandrin, the brain anatomist (and excellent communicator) talks about Capgras delusion - thinking that someone close to you is an imposter, often after a brain injury. His theory is that emotion becomes disassociated from vision because a "wire" has been cut somewhere, and the person in question develops a theory on-the-fly as to why this is. Having been administered ketamine it's certainly a strange experience, and I would have never otherwise understood how fundamental emotion is to the perception of pain.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18 2017, @11:21AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18 2017, @11:21AM (#611335)

    ... reduces all thoughts (whether suicidal or not) in all patients (whether depressed or not).

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