It is best for a patient to have a solid medical team all working together. The patient should reach out to their primary behavioral health practitioner, psychologist, and/or psychiatrist and have a conversation about their diagnoses, the medications they are currently taking, the benefits that ketamine treatment could provide, and its risks. Further, it is best if the patient has a current diagnosis and an ongoing treatment plan with a psychologist and/or psychiatrist prior to engaging with a ketamine provider.
The next step is for the patient to reach out to a ketamine clinic and have a consultation with the provider. In this consultation, a similar discussion regarding the patient’s diagnoses, medications, benefits, and risks should occur. In addition, there should be an evaluation on where the patient is in managing their diagnoses – for example, if a patient has treatment resistant depression and is early in their recovery or has not been consistently treated with medications and/or therapy, the recommended ketamine treatment could be different from the recommendations made to a patient who is far into their mental health journey and seeking ketamine for maintenance to relieve their depression.
Every ketamine clinic will be slightly different based on the experience and background of the provider, and therefore, the treatment options available will vary. States might also have different laws regarding ketamine administration. For example, some states do not allow for prescription of ketamine orally, and any administration must be done in a clinic, which can account for why treatment options and routes of administration might be different from clinic to clinic and state to state. It is important that the patient feel empowered to inquire about what level of experience and background their provider has and to relate that back to their own diagnoses in order to determine whether that clinic is the best fit for treating their condition.