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Ketamine and Quantum Psychiatry, by Dr. K.L.R. Jansen

Ketamine and Quantum Psychiatry, by Dr. K.L.R. Jansen

  1. enquirewithin
    Asylum: Psychedelics & Psychiatry
    Vol 11 (No. 3) 1999; 19-21

    The word 'psychedelic' was invented by an English psychiatrist (Humphry Osmond) and means 'mind-revealing'. A psychedelic drug may tell us more about how the mind constructs reality, personality and a sense of meaning and sacredness. It is sometimes said that ketamine is not a psychedelic drug because it has anaesthetic properties not seen with LSD, DMT, psilocybin and mescaline. Nevertheless, it can access all of the realms of consciousness mapped out by psychiatrist Stanislav Grof on the basis of LSD research. Ketamine is mentioned in (for example) Psychedelics Encyclopedia, Psychedelic Drugs Reconsidered and The Essential Psychedelic Guide.

    Ketamine is relatively safe when used in hospitals. There is a wide margin between the top end of the medical range and a lethal dose. Psychedelic doses are usually only 10-25% of surgical doses, given by the same route for the same person. At these levels, it behaves more like a stimulant than a sedative and does not usually suppress the breathing or heart rate, although exceptions do occur. The higher brain is switched on rather than shut down. This state is different from being unconscious, where the light-bulb is turned off and if the person goes too far they may stop breathing. There are cases of accidental injections with 10 times the amount required for surgery, with no obvious, lasting ill-effects. When ketamine is taken outside a medical setting, the main dangers arise from the physical incapacity it produces.

    Dose, how the drug is taken, set and setting have an influence on the experience. 'Set' refers to the personality, past experiences, mood, motivations, intelligence, imagination, attitudes, what is going on in his or her life and the expectations of the person. Expectations are affected by what people hear and read about the drug. 'Setting' refers to the conditions of use, including the physical, social and emotional environment and the other people present. Empathy with the person giving the drug is a very important factor, even with an anaesthetic.

Recent Reviews

  1. Jatelka
    Jatelka
    4/5,
    Version: 2007-02-14
    Have only skim-read it so far (No time! No Time!) But it looks fascinating: Good catch