#220 ‒ Ketamine: Benefits, risks, and promising therapeutic potential | Celia Morgan, Ph.D.

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Celia Morgan is a Professor of Psychopharmacology at the University of Exeter who has authored numerous publications on the potential therapeutic uses of ketamine in mental healthcare. In this episode, Celia dives deep into the neurobiology of ketamine, how it affects users, and how it differs from other, more classical psychedelics (LSD, MDMA, PCP, and psilocybin). She explains the potential promise of ketamine as a treatment for recalcitrant depression and addiction, and she details the results from her clinical trials in these areas. She discusses the importance of using ketamine in combination with psychotherapy to maximize its benefits, the potential risks associated with ketamine use, and advice for those interested in the therapeutic use of ketamine.

We discuss:

  • Celia’s training and interest in ketamine [2:15];
  • The history of ketamine, medical uses, and use as a party drug [3:30];
  • Neurobiology and pharmacology of ketamine [8:15];
  • Ketamine regulation and abuse, and how it compares with psychedelics and other molecules [18:15];
  • Ketamine as a therapeutic for depression [30:45];
  • The brain under the influence of ketamine and theoretical mechanisms for its anti-depressive effects [48:00];
  • Risks and concerns with overusing ketamine, and what an intermittent or maintenance dose might look for a patient [57:15];
  • Treating addiction with ketamine: Celia’s studies of alcohol dependance [1:04:00];
  • Advice for people considering the therapeutic use of ketamine [1:19:45];
  • More.

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