Ketamine Assisted

Therapy (KAT)

Meditation and ketamine for mental health
Three patients in ketamine treatment center
Patient receiving ketamine treatment

Ketamine Assisted Therapy (KAT) in Denver

Ketamine assisted therapy (KAT) is a unique therapeutic method used to address a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, post-traumatic stress, chronic pain, addiction, and anxiety. It involves the use of the only legal psychedelic substance available to practitioners. Ketamine can help alleviate emotional suffering of all kinds. It is especially useful in combination with ongoing psychotherapy, as it can enhance and deepen the therapeutic process.

At Kore, we offer ketamine assisted therapy as part of a comprehensive and holistic approach to wellness. We have found that this unique type of treatment is most effective when paired with other forms of therapy, such as bodywork, IV NAD, and IV vitamins, all of which complement and deepen the work.

While ketamine can be used for a variety of mental health conditions, the majority of our patients are high performers, who want to work through their traumas and quickly address any issues that may be holding them back from achieving their next goal.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is ketamine?

Ketamine has been approved by the FDA for use as an anesthetic agent for many years. Ketamine is a psychoactive drug classified as a dissociative anesthetic and has been used off-label in sub-anesthetic doses to treat chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and a variety of other mental health concerns. In low doses, ketamine can serve as an adjunct to psychotherapy, as it temporarily softens the psychological defenses, allowing for deeper self-reflection and psychotherapeutic processing.

While the antidepressant effects tend to be temporary after a single ketamine treatment, multiple treatments have proven to have a cumulative effect, successfully alleviating symptoms in approximately 70% of individuals with treatment-resistant depression.

In moderate doses, subanesthetic doses, ketamine has psychedelic effects, which have been shown to facilitate profound transpersonal experiences. These types of experiences can help people in a variety of ways, offering important clarity and insight into one’s struggles, adding a spiritual dimension to ongoing therapeutic work, and facilitating a sense of meaning and interconnectedness.

2. What Does Ketamine Assisted Treatment Entail?

Benefits may occur after only one treatment, though typically an initial course of several treatments is required for a more robust response. If your depressive/anxiety symptoms respond to this initial course of ketamine therapy, 2-3x/week for 2 weeks, you may receive further treatments, scheduled at 3 weeks apart. You may still elect to be treated with other medications and ongoing psychotherapy to try to reduce the possibility of relapse. Ketamine therapy for anxiety works best when part of an integrated treatment program that includes other medications, psychotherapy, other IV therapies, and lifestyle changes. It may not permanently relieve depression.

3. How Does Ketamine Work?

Ketamine non-competitively blocks the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors and may interact with opioid mu (pain) receptors and sigma receptors, thereby reducing pain perception, inducing sedation, and producing dissociative anesthesia. When NMDA receptors are activated by glutamate binding, neuroplasticity increases, and neuronal synapses are altered, thereby decreasing depression and anxiety. Ketamine also stimulates BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) production. Some people think of BDNF as a “fertilizer” for the brain. BDNF boosts results in neurogenesis, the growth of new brain cells, and synaptogenesis, the formation of new connections between brain cells.

4. Who Can Get Ketamine Assisted Therapy?

Before participating in ketamine therapy, you will be carefully screened using a number of tests and procedures to determine if you are eligible, including medical history, psychiatric history, and depression and anxiety screening questionnaires. You will be asked to retake these questionnaires 1 month after your initial treatment, and ongoing biannually thereafter, as you continue treatment.

People who want to achieve higher states of consciousness seek out this type of therapy. Ketamine offers a quick path to deal with past traumas and internal blockages that may be holding you back in your daily life.

Pregnant women, nursing mothers, and women of child-bearing age who are not using an effective method of birth control should not receive ketamine treatment. If you have an untreated thyroid condition, untreated high blood pressure, or persistent urinary tract issues, you are not a candidate for this procedure.

5. What is a Ketamine Session Like?

The length of a ketamine session is approximately 45-90 minutes, and you may need to remain in the recovery area for up to an hour following administration. You will be asked to lie still during and after ketamine administration because your sense of balance and coordination will be impaired until the effect has worn off. It is possible you may fall asleep.

At Kore, ketamine is given as an intramuscular (IM) injection, at a total dose of 0.5 mg-1mg/kg body weight. Sometimes ketamine therapy is given in combination with an IV of NAD (B3) for increased cellular uptake and health, or in combination with osteopathic manipulation or other bodywork.

During the ketamine treatment session, Dr. Quinn or her nurse will be present to make sure you are comfortable and to monitor the procedure. You will often remain alert and able to talk during the procedure, but your perception and mental state will be altered by the ketamine. You will return to a normal mental state when the injection wears off. When you have returned to your usual state of consciousness, you will be asked to share the experience with your provider and discuss any feedback, fears, and breakthroughs. The non-ordinary state of consciousness produced by ketamine usually lasts approximately 45 minutes, but can last for one to two hours. The reduced sense of balance, dizziness, and possible nausea when moving your head gradually subside over three to six hours.

6. What Are The Potential Risks of Subanesthetic Ketamine Therapy?

Commonly experienced adverse effects include blurred and uncomfortable vision, slurred speech, mental confusion, excitability, diminished ability to see things that are actually present, decreased ability to hear or to feel objects accurately including one’s own body, anxiety, nausea, and vomiting. Visual, tactile, and auditory processing are affected by the drug. Music that may be familiar may seem out of the ordinary. Synesthesia, a mingling of the senses, may occur, and your sense of time may be altered.

Ketamine’s abuse potential is equivalent to that of phencyclidine and other hallucinogenic substances, which is low. However, cravings have been reported by some individuals and there are documented cases of overuse of illicitly obtained and diverted ketamine. In addition, ketamine can have effects on mood, cognition, and perception, which may make some people want to use it repeatedly. Therefore, ketamine should never be used except under the direct supervision of a licensed physician.

7. How Can I Prepare for Ketamine Therapy?

Due to the risk of nausea and vomiting, we ask that a patient refrains from eating and drinking for at least the 2 hours preceding the ketamine treatment session. We want you to wear comfortable clothing. You may bring earbuds and listen to any music of your choosing, or we can play music on our speakers for you. Consider closing your eyes during the procedure, or using one of our eye covers, so that you can get more into the medicine.

The week prior to your injection, we encourage you to take time to contemplate 1 or 2 things in your life where you struggle or have concerns. Think about what you want to accomplish on this journey. Think about what causes you anxiety or discomfort such as relationships, business concerns, areas you feel stuck, weight loss, health concerns, etc. Try to spend about 5-10 minutes a day, for the week prior to your procedure, thinking about where you want to make big changes, but haven’t been able to. If you think about this prior to the injection, it is more likely that you will be able to work through some of these issues during the journey. One or two items, most, for each session. You may want to share these with your provider prior to your session, as you will be asked about it after your session.

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Greater Denver Area

1030 Johnson Road Ste 380

Golden, CO 80401

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