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Ketamine Used For Mental Health Conditions In First-Of-Its-Kind UK Clinic

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Ketamine Used For Mental Health Conditions In First-Of-Its-Kind UK Clinic

The UK's first psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy clinic has opened in Bristol.

The Awakn Life Sciences clinic uses ketamine in tandem with talking therapy to help people overcome mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, addiction, eating disorders and PTSD.

Patients will be charged £6,000 ($8,338) for the course, with medical grade ketamine administered by a doctor in a strictly controlled environment at four of eleven psychotherapy sessions.

The treatment could provide hope for people who have had no success with traditional treatments. Credit: Hannah Silver/BGN Productions
The treatment could provide hope for people who have had no success with traditional treatments. Credit: Hannah Silver/BGN Productions
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These sessions will last two hours and afterwards patients will be taken to a 'chill out' area, where they can stay as long as they like before going home - though they won't be permitted to drive.

It is hoped that the treatment will enable treatment-resistant patients to 'access parts of themselves not otherwise easily available'.

For Grant Plant, ketamine-assisted treatment enabled him to do exactly this, after his alcohol use escalated following a bereavement and a divorce.

The 53-year-old events manager said: "During the ketamine psychotherapy sessions, I felt I was able to access a part of my unconscious where I hadn't gone before.

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"Together with the talking therapy, I was able to process the reasons behind my drinking, reset my brain and begin a new life as a permanently sober man."

Awakn is also looking into other therapeutic regimes which are currently in late-stage clinical research, including adjunct therapy using MDMA. Further clinics are also scheduled to open in London and Manchester later this year.

More clinics will open later this year. Credit: Hannah Silver/BGN Productions
More clinics will open later this year. Credit: Hannah Silver/BGN Productions

Dr Ben Sessa, psychiatrist and chief medical officer at Awakn, said the therapy could provide hope for people whose mental health problems had previously seemed untreatable.

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He said: "Some patients with severe mental health disorders are unremitting and resistant to traditional treatments.

"Our highly personalised therapy puts the patient at the centre of their treatment regime; instead of having to fit with a traditional talking therapy model our programme is led by the patient's own ability to go deeper, break-through, and address the root cause of their disorder.

"For any patient locked in a cycle of prescription medication or talking therapies, with no meaningful outcome on the horizon, we offer an evidence-based and clinically sound alternative. We offer understanding and hope for a life unencumbered by a mental illness."

UOKM8? is a campaign by LADbible, featuring films and stories that provide advice and inspiration on mental health. Explore more here and don't suffer in silence. Let's talk mental health.

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MIND: 0300 123 3393.

Samaritans: 116 123.

CALM: Outside London 0808 802 5858, inside London 0800 58 58 58.

Featured Image Credit: Hannah Silver/BGN Productions

Topics: UK News, Mental Health, Drugs

Jake Massey
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