Party Drugs May Treat Depression Quickly

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Two news studies have emerged this week suggesting harmful street drugs such as LSD, ketamine, also known as special K, as well as magic mushrooms can help people who suffer from psychiatric disorders like depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Study says Special K may be fast-acting for depression treatment

One of the studies took place at Yale University and determined that ketamine, which is a general anesthetic used in veterinary medicine and is a street drug called Special K, could serve as a fast-acting anti-depressant on patients who claimed to have suicidal thoughts.

Senior author of the study, Ronald Duman, professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at Yale stated, "It's like a magic drug -- one dose can work rapidly and last for seven to 10 days. If someone is extremely ill, and in many cases may be even suicidal, having a drug that works rapidly like this is just a tremendous resource to have.” The study is published in the August 20 issue of the journal Science.

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Another study, published in Nature Neuroscience journal, gives further hope for psychedelics in general as a treatment option for a range of mental disorders. That’s right, researchers at Zurich's University Hospital of Psychiatry examined the results of previous brain imaging studies to determine that drugs such as LSD and psilocybin (the active compound in psychedelic mushrooms) can act beneficially on the same brain pathways damaged in people who suffer from anxiety and depression.

Researchers suggest that the drugs should be administered by professionals in controlled environments. They also have said the drugs shouldn't be passed onto patients just yet. More research on the benefits and side effects of psychedelics needs to be conducted before doctors prescribe them and gurus give them to their clients.

Researchers say these studies offer a new hope in the battle against mental disorders. According to the National Institutes for Mental Health, more than 26 percent of Americans 18 and older suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder.

"These are serious, debilitating, life-shortening illnesses," the Zurich University researchers write in their study. "As the currently available treatments have high failure rates, psychedelics might offer alternative treatment strategies that could improve the well-being of patients and the associated economic burden on patients and society."

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