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The drug known as “Special K” that causes dream-like effects and hallucinations can add another side-effect to its disclaimer list: depression treatment. According to NPR’s Health Blog, ketamin is being used experimentally to fight depression by the NeuroPsychiatric centre at the Ben Taub hospital in Houston.
Unlike traditional anti-depressants — which look to boost serotonin levels and/or creating new neurons — ketamin has been shown to “increase the communication among existing neurons by creating new connections.”
The effect of the drug on patients has been “distinct and powerful,” according to doctors taking place in the experimental study. Unlike drugs like Prozac, which can take months to balance chemicals in the brain, imbibing Special K gives the user instant relief from depression
Ketamine is on a growing list of illegal drugs that can be used positively for medicinal purposes. Psychedelic mushrooms have also been shown to combat depression, and marijuana has increased the lung capacity of long-time users over the years.