A new survey has found that most parents are accepting of the use of ketamine therapy with adolescents to treat bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and suicidal ideation. This first-of-its-kind study assessed the attitudes of parents toward the use of ketamine as a treatment for adolescent suicidality and mood disorders. Its findings were reported in the “Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.”
In the report, the authors of the study stated that since parents had the capacity to make decisions for their child’s medical care, consent from parents was a crucial factor in adopting new treatments for them.
Figures from the National Institute of Mental Health show that more than 14% of adolescents in the United States suffer from mood disorders. In at least 11% of these cases, mood disorders cause acute impairment. While ketamine is yet to be approved for psychiatric use in adolescents, it has demonstrated temporary but rapid antidepressant effects when used to manage treatment-resistant mood disorders.
The authors highlighted that ketamine had become popular as a rapid-acting intervention with a lot of potential in the treatment of suicidality and treatment-resistant depression in grownups.
For their study, the researchers asked parents to complete a survey comprised of questions on their perceptions on ketamine treatments, acceptability and ketamine’s psychiatric use. The survey found that seven out of ten parents were in favor of the use of the medicine to treat the aforementioned conditions, with the authors noting that ketamine acceptability was lower for major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder, in comparison with its use in treating suicidality.
The survey also discovered that parents preferred the use of less-invasive administration routes for the drug and short-term applications, with the preferred method of drug administration being nasal spray. More than 65% of the respondents also admitted that they would be willing to try one to two ketamine doses in an emergency center for suicidal grownups.
The authors note that parents who were comfortable using other interventions for mental health in their children, those who were familiar with psychological treatments and those with a history of mental illness were more accepting of the use of ketamine as a treatment.
The main concerns parents had included the potential side effects of the drug, the potential for abuse and the lack of FDA approval for use in children outside protocols for research.
In their conclusion, the authors assert that despite growing evidence on the safety, tolerability and effectiveness of ketamine in younger populations, more research is needed.
These research findings are in a way a vote of confidence in psychedelic science and companies such as Delic Holdings Inc. (CSE: DELC) (OTCQB: DELCF), which are already offering ketamine treatments at various licensed centers.
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