A close cousin of ketamine has been approved for use as medicine by the FDA, and a new study indicates DMT might be effective in treating depression and anxiety. If these two medicines hit mass markets, things could start to get real weird in the United States. We’re imagining the whole country turning into one big Euro house rave, but we hope we’re exaggerating a little.
First up, there’s esketamine which, as the name suggests, is better than kissing cousins with ketamine, the anesthetic and popular party drug known for bringing users to very high highs and a low so low they even gave it a nickname: the k-hole.
Esketamine, on the other hand, is being hailed as a historic new wonder drug, the first ever anti-depressant which can relieve symptoms in mere hours instead of days or weeks. According to NPR, esketamine “represents the first truly new kind of depression drug since Prozac hit the market in 1988.”
The drug is administered by nasal spray or as an oral medication, developed by Johnson & Johnson under the name Spravato. It could possibly save the lives of many seriously depressed people and bring relief to many more.
“This is potentially a game changer for millions of people,” Dr. Dennis Charney, dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, told NPR.
“Many of them are suicidal,” he said. “So it’s essentially a deadly disease when you haven’t responded to available treatments and you’ve been suffering for years if not decades.”
DMT has also made headlines recently, with a new study showing promising signs that it too could be used to treat depression. In large concentrated quantities, DMT can be one of the strongest hallucinogens known to man. It is also the active ingredient in what’s probably the most fashionable hallucinogen of the moment, ayahuasca.
And researchers from University of California, Davis have been administering it to rats, right after they torture them. According to the study published in the ACS Chemical Neuroscience Journal, rats were given what are believed to be low, subhallucinogenic doses of DMT, then frozen and shocked. In those trying conditions, the rats who dropped DMT were found to exhibit fewer signs of depression and anxiety. So maybe the next time you expect to be tortured, you know there’s a little something out there you can take to help you ride it out.
Photo: Screenshot from Enter the Void