Doctor prescribes thousands of his patients with ketamine
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After two years of being licensed to do so, a doctor in the US has prescribed thousands of patients with ketamine to help with the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
The practice is basically being dubbed as ketamine therapy, but it has certainly been a controversial one.
Scott Smith has been licensed to practice the medicine and the recreational drug in almost every US state.
Recreational use of Ketamine is illegal in the US, as it is a dissociative anesthetic - which means the drug can cause people to feel separated or detached from their body and physical environment.
But while it may be abused as a street drug by some, Ketamine has shown promise in treating depression and anxiety.
And Smith prescribes the ketamine in very non-traditional - and legal - way.
Rather than giving it to patients under the supervision of a clinic to make sure they are not having a dangerous dose, the doctor orders generic lozenges online for patients which they can then take at home.
Smith says that the drug has benefitted more than half of his 3,000 patients, saying that 'people are beating a path to my door' for it.
The doctor has built a national ketamine practice from his home in South Carolina, capitalising on the pandemic-style public health emergency declaration where it was no longer required for health-care providers to see patients in person.
But with covid-19 restrictions now limited to few countries, many expect the rule to change in the spring which could mean that Smith is unable to continue his practice.
Companies are of course trying to extent the waive, but no decision has been made as of yet.
As reported by The Washington Post, a man named Steve from Chicago, who works in public relations, has taken advantage of the ketamine therapy.
But if he had to do it in person, in a clinic for example, he says that he wouldn't have gone to Smith.
He said: "I would not have wanted to do this if I had to go to a clinic."
Steve - who wished to have his last name remain anonymous - said that ketamine had helped his bipolar disorder more than any other medication he has taken before.
He plans to continue on the medication through a new service, but admitted that if the regulation changes, he will not be able to take it anymore."
Topics: News, Health, Drugs, Mental Health