Who Is Not A Good Candidate For Ketamine Therapy? Find Truth!


Ketamine has recently gained popularity as a fast-acting antidepressant and anesthetic. However, some people wonder - does Ketamine therapy get you high? With its history as a club drug, there are understandable concerns about its potential for abuse.

This article explores the truth about whether Ketamine treatment causes a high. We'll examine legitimate medical uses of Ketamine, as well as side effects like disassociation. Getting the facts can help you make an informed decision about trying this emerging therapy.

What is Ketamine therapy? How Much Does It Cost?

Who Is Not A Good Candidate For Ketamine Therapy

Ketamine was first approved as an anesthetic, but lower “sub-anesthetic” doses allow it to treat depression. This cutting-edge approach, called Ketamine therapy, leverages its ability to promote nerve cell connections in the brain.

During Ketamine therapy, patients receive intermittent low doses through an IV, lozenge, or nasal spray. Sessions typically last 45 minutes to 2 hours. It relieves depression symptoms in hours or days, unlike antidepressants which can take 4-6 weeks. This rapid effect makes Ketamine a game-changer for suicidal patients.

Does Ketamine therapy get you high?

So, does Ketamine therapy get you high? Ketamine is best known recreationally as the club drug “Special K.” This has fueled questions about whether therapeutic use also causes a high. The answer lies in the dosage.

Abuse involves taking up to 5-10 times more than a medical dose. At appropriate doses, patients may experience mild disassociation but not a euphoric high. So, the answer to this question “Does Ketamine therapy get you high?” is yes.

Who Is Not A Good Candidate For Ketamine Therapy?

Someone with uncontrolled high blood pressure or heart disease would not be a good candidate for ketamine therapy due to the drug's cardiovascular effects. People with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders should avoid ketamine as it may exacerbate symptoms. Those struggling with substance abuse may be prone to abusing ketamine and would likely not be good candidates.

ketamine therapy cost

Here are some key points about the cost of ketamine therapy:

  • Ketamine infusion therapy typically costs $350 to $800 per infusion session. Most patients require 4-6 initial sessions and often return for booster infusions every 1-3 months.
  • The total cost for the initial ketamine treatment series can range from $1,400 to $4,800 or more. Ongoing maintenance infusions can cost $350-$800 per session.
  • Ketamine therapy is rarely covered by insurance since it is still considered experimental for psychiatric treatment. Some clinics do offer discounted rates or payment plans.
  • Additional costs may include initial psychiatric evaluations ($250-$500), administration fees, medication prescriptions, and therapy before and after treatment sessions.
  • Factors affecting the per-session price include the clinic, provider qualifications, dose administered, location, length of infusion, and additional support services. Academic centers tend to have higher pricing.
  • Some compounding pharmacies make nasal ketamine spray formulations for at-home use between infusions which costs roughly $50 for the initial prescription and then $25 per refill.

So in summary, the total cost investment for ketamine therapy can be substantial but varies considerably based on the specifics of treatment. Many patients still seek this option for severe and treatment-resistant mental health conditions when approved therapies have not helped.

What does “disassociation” from Ketamine feel like?

Many patients report feeling “disconnected” from their body or environment during Ketamine therapy. Colors or sounds may seem more intense. You may feel like time is distorted.

This disassociation is unrelated to getting high. It results from Ketamine blocking certain signals to the conscious mind. The effects are temporary and fade as the drug exits your system.

Is there potential for Ketamine addiction?

Some studies observe cravings in recreational Ketamine users. However, medical protocols involve limited administrations with proper patient screening. When taken as prescribed under medical supervision, Ketamine does not appear addictive.

However, doctors exclude patients with substance abuse disorders. Illegal use remains very risky due to factors like unknown drug purity. Fortunately, therapeutic Ketamine shows little or no potential for addiction or dependence.

Ketamine therapy side effects

So we already have found the answer to the question “Does Ketamine therapy get you high?” Now, let's look at the Ketamine therapy side effects. While Ketamine therapy rarely causes a high, it can produce side effects. Common transient effects include:

  • Nausea, dizziness or headache
  • Disordered thinking
  • Blurred vision
  • Feeling disconnected or “floaty”
  • Impaired coordination or balance

These uncomfortable effects are the biggest right after administration. They fade as the drug clears your system, typically within hours.

Less common psychosis-like effects may include hallucinations, confusion, or delirium. Your doctor monitors you closely for any concerning reactions. Fortunately, serious complications are very rare in clinical settings.

Getting through temporarily unpleasant side effects can be worth it for rapid relief of depression. Over time, many patients experience fewer effects as their body acclimates.

How long does Ketamine work for depression?

So, how does Ketamine therapy work, or how long does Ketamine therapy work for depression? We have already found an answer to “Does Ketamine therapy get you high?”. Now, let's find out whether it works for depression.

Ketamine affects numerous processes in the brain. It blocks glutamate, promotes BDNF and AMPA, and more. However, a key benefit is increasing the connectivity of brain cells.

Many factors from stress to genetics can weaken connections between neurons. This disrupts information flow and contributes to depression. Robust connections between brain cells help maintain positive mood and cognitive abilities.

Ketamine rapidly strengthens neural connections via dendrite sprouting. This quickly restores mood-regulating pathways compromised by chronic stress. Its acute effects on wiring may “reset” circuits to allow conventional antidepressants to work better long-term.

How long does Ketamine relief last?

For about 30% of patients, a single Ketamine dose causes remission for weeks. For others, benefits may only appear for days after each treatment. Maintenance sessions as often as weekly may prolong results.

Some research finds effects lasted over a year in one-third of patients receiving Ketamine infusion for pain. However, long-term benefits seem greatest when combined with therapy and antidepressants. Working with a doctor allows customizing dosage and frequency for sustained relief.


Ketamine therapy is an exciting new opportunity for rapid relief for people struggling with depression. Because Ketamine may briefly cause feelings of disconnection from your surroundings, some people worry it can get you high.

However, the dosage is the differentiator between medical use and misuse. Therapeutic administrations are too low to create euphoria but high enough to leverage Ketamine’s benefits. Studies find little potential for addiction when used responsibly under medical care.

That said, some patients experience transient side effects like sensory changes. While uncomfortable, these short-lived effects are not the same as getting high. Working closely with your doctor helps minimize adverse reactions so you can gain antidepressant effects.

Ketamine can “reset” brain connectivity patterns that drive depression. This sets the stage for long-term remission - especially if paired with other treatments. Like all powerful medications, Ketamine therapy has some risks. But for many people, it can be life-changing.

If you’re struggling with overwhelming depression, a consultation is the next step. Does the possibility of rapid relief make the temporary disassociation side effects worth it? Working with a doctor helps you decide if Ketamine therapy offers hope when other treatments have failed.

Our recommendations are rooted in genuine belief in the benefits of the products bring to users. When you purchase through our links, we may earn a commission, supporting our testing and development without adding any cost for you. Learn more.

Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

Learn More

Leave a Comment