Can Ketamine Be Used Recreationally For Depression?

Since the early 1970s, ketamine has been used in humans and animals alike as an anesthetic, most often prior to surgeries. Since it began gaining traction as a viable treatment for depression over the last 20 years, an honest question continues to be posed regarding the drug: can ketamine be used recreationally for depression? The answer is not as straightforward as it may seem, and in order to fully understand the pros and cons of ketamine in its many forms, it’s important to know how the drug needs to be administered in order to be safe and effective.

In the early years following its discovery, ketamine was commonly used as an anesthetic for surgical procedures, as well as a pain reliever. Over time, it was abused as a party drug and garnered a stigma with nicknames such as “special K” or “vitamin K.” Known for its strong dissociative and sedative effects, the schism between recreational and medical use only widened as popularity rose, especially after its indication as a rapid treatment for depression and other mood disorders was established. So can ketamine be used recreationally for depression? In short, no, as anything used recreationally is inherently not considered a clinically therapeutic treatment. However, as research has continued and time has gone on, the various methods of ketamine administration have broadened from what they once were.

Can Ketamine Be Injected?

Ketamine can be administered in the form of an intramuscular injection, and has been used in such a way for a good part of its history. However, like other injectable medications, unsupervised use is dangerous and comes with many risks. Not only can differences in dosage cause varying effects, but the chance for abuse and dangerous, potentially fatal side effects can quickly develop. Recent developments in medicine have established a prominent and safe clinical practice of both intramuscular ketamine and intravenous ketamine infusion therapy as a means to treat depression, PTSD, and other mood disorders when administered by a medical professional in a clinical setting.

What is Ketamine Infusion Therapy?

The therapeutic effects of ketamine have been widely known for years, and some have sought to use it recreationally to treat their depression in response. However, personal, at-home or recreational use of ketamine differs greatly from its administration in a safe, clinical setting, and doctors have developed a precise procedure for administering ketamine infusion therapy to treat mood disorders and chronic pain conditions. Because a precise, tailored dose is required for patients to experience optimal benefit from ketamine, individuals who self administer the medication at their leisure and through varying routes of administration pose serious risks to themselves, may make their symptoms worse, or even result in death.

Ketamine Infusion Side Effects

There are no long-term side effects of IV Ketamine Infusion Therapy when administered in a medical setting. Short-term side effects include grogginess, fatigue and mild nausea which usually subside after a full night’s sleep. However, anti-nausea medicine can be given before an infusion preemptively, and any nausea that lingers typically goes away within a few hours, or will completely dissipate by the following day. Patients are also advised not to eat or drink four hours before treatment to aid in the prevention of nausea.


Ketamine infusion therapy clinics are geared toward providing patients with a safe and friendly environment when receiving ketamine treatments. Ketam is a state-of-the-art facility with a spa-like, serene feel, where a full medical team can ensure an easy and painless experience throughout the entire procedure. Dr. Mandel has performed over 14,000 infusions and has more than 40 years of experience working with ketamine as a board-certified anesthesiologist. He completed everything towards his Ph.D. in clinical psychology except for his dissertation, earning his master’s degree in psychology. This unique, dual background enables Dr. Mandel to be the leader of this rapidly expanding niche in mental health.

To find out if Ketamine Infusion Therapy is right for you, feel free to read our frequently asked questions, check out the history of Ketam for any comments or concerns, or contact us directly with any questions you may have.




  1. qweqt says:

    My brother suggested I might like this blog He was totally right This post actually made my day You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info Thanks

  2. temp mail says:

    I enjoy your website, obviously, but you should check the spelling on a number of your posts. A number of them have numerous spelling errors, which makes it difficult for me to tell the truth, but I will definitely return.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *