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Ketamine And Nitrous Oxide Are Being Used To Treat Depression In Australian Clinical Trial

Ketamine And Nitrous Oxide Are Being Used To Treat Depression In Australian Clinical Trial

Researchers want to see if the two substances can help 'improve anxiety, suicidal ideation and health-related quality of life'.

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie

Ketamine and nitrous oxide would more commonly be found at house parties in Australia to offer people a quick trip away from reality.

Ket, as it's affectionally known, is a dissociative and can warp a users sense of space and self when used recreationally and is also used in the medical world as an anaesthetic.

Nitrous oxide, aka nangs, is used recreationally to fill up balloons before the user slowly inhales the gas, which gives them a mild high that lasts no longer than a minute. It's also used in medicine in anaesthesia.

But a new clinical trial wants to see whether the drugs could improve someone's mood in the long term.

Alcohol and Drug Foundation

University of NSW has set out to determine if they could not only help treat depression, but also to 'improve anxiety, suicidal ideation and health-related quality of life'.

There's been a massive uptick in the number of applications for clinical trials to explore methods at treating mental health that would normally or previously be considered unconventional.

It's worth pointing out that these trials are conducted in controlled, monitored, and medical environments.

They're not delivered in the same way as it's done in a recreational sense, so people should not to try administer the drug themselves to treat any mental health issues.

Nitrous oxide canisters.

But University of NSW isn't the only institution that is investigating the substances to see if they have a mental health benefit.

A group of Melbourne researchers announced last year that they were looking into nitrous oxide and whether it could be the key that unlocks a new area in depression treatments.

Associate Professor Paul Myles, who is leading the study at The Alfred hospital, said: "A patient can effectively come in and sit in a chair and relax and listen to nice music and breathe in the gas and they'll start to feel, perhaps, slightly woozy and a bit better in their mood almost immediately."

"Then literally half an hour later they can go home."

While the treatment might only last about 10 minutes, the effects of it can last up to a week, early results show.

There will no doubt be plenty of people wanting to sign up to these trials, especially if it could help with their condition.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Australia, Health