There is no doubt that ketamine infusion therapy is something along the lines of a miracle treatment for many people dealing with chronic pain or depression. But the cost of ketamine infusions, or lack of access, puts this life changing treatment out of reach for many. Even for those who have been fortunate enough to benefit from these infusions often find themselves unable to continue due to cost. They may even try to stretch the time in between sessions to the point that they suffer a relapse in symptoms. Patients are left having to make the difficult choice of choosing to hurt now so they can afford to not hurt later.
Life Changing For Chronic Pain
Psychedelic therapy like ketamine infusions can make the difference between life and death for people with intense chronic pain conditions. Neuropathic pain is exceedingly difficult to treat, and ketamine infusions are giving people their lives back. It provides a two-prong approach, simultaneously addressing the mental health aspects that often accompany chronic illness and stimulating a “rewiring” effect that allows our brains to become less sensitized to the pain.
Life Changing For Depression
Many people with treatment resistant depression say that ketamine infusions have changed their lives for the better. After years of struggling with symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD, they have found the capacity to enjoy life. In fact, they would describe it as lifesaving. Psychedelic treatment is amazing, and everyone who is suffering should have access.
Not A Permanent Fix
Unfortunately, the benefits of a ketamine infusion don’t last forever. The mileage may vary for each individual, with some only getting a week or two of relief out of each infusion. This puts patients in a heartbreaking position where they must put off their next infusion because of the expense or due to insurance limitations. The effects of ketamine, or any other psychedelic therapy, are not permanent and require subsequent maintenance dosing.
Can you imagine having to delay the one thing that can quiet the burning pain of CRPS just because of access issues like that? Or knowing that the last few weeks before your infusion you would be suffering from bouts of panic attacks and depression? Most people who don’t deal with pain issues or problems with mental health problems just can’t understand the full tragedy in play here. The emotional scene in the movie “Terms Of Endearment” captures it perfectly when Shirley MacLaine demands that the hospital staff give her daughter her pain medication on time.
Psilocybin is vastly superior to ketamine for producing persistent antidepressant effects. This study compared several psychedelics and concluded that ketamine is in fact inferior to LSD or psilocybin for lasting antidepressant relief. On the pain management side, it is equally if not better for achieving the “rewiring” effects associated with ketamine infusions.
Psilocybin is not associated with any of the liver toxicity that is correlated with repetitive ketamine infusions. In fact, it is a strong anti-inflammatory agent that may protect you from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Though ketamine is generally well tolerated and safe, it cannot be compared to psilocybin’s level of safety.
The Future Of Psychedelic Therapy
Many of the clinics that offer ketamine infusions are gearing up to offer psilocybin therapy as soon as it is available. Doctors are aware that ketamine is a poor substitute.
Psilocybin provides a pretty “different” experience but is perfectly manageable in the right environment. Those who are accustomed to ketamine infusions would probably take to it like a fish to water.
Psilocybin Is Free And Easy To Administer At Home
When using psilocybin, you can dose at your own schedule. It does not have the addiction risk that ketamine has. The psilocybin producing mushrooms are easy to grow at home with no special equipment and doing so makes them practically free. If you can train yourself to tolerate and manage a psychedelic experience, then you have unlimited access to free psychedelic therapy. With a little help from a therapist to integrate, the results can be remarkable.
Beware The Microdosing Trap
Microdosing is a remarkable cultural phenomenon. However, those with experience in ketamine infusions understand that microdosing ketamine is not the recommended protocol. We have no reason to believe that the rules apply differently to psilocybin, so it’s best to stick to methods that are tried and true. These substances are not the same, but they are similar enough to assume that they will produce similar results with similar techniques. Microdosing is not the way.
Microdosing psilocybin is unlikely to produce results within a reasonable amount of time anymore than microdosing ketamine would be. In fact, you may even experience exacerbated pain symptoms while microdosing.
None of the exciting clinical data showing up in headlines applies to microdosing. Unfortunately, current data suggests that it is not possible to separate the beneficial aspects of psilocybin from the psychoactive aspects.