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Ketamine for First Responders

Kic Blog 4.1-01

The public relies of first responders to help during traumatic and dangerous situations, expecting them to provide physical and emotional support. However, that first responder is placing himself or herself in dangerous and stressful situations when they help the public and there are consequences for those heroic actions. By continually exposing themselves to disasters, injuries, death, grief, pain, and numerous other highly stressful situations, they are placing themselves at extremely high risk of developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). First responders also work long hours and tend to sleep poorly due to their long shifts, add in the continued risk to personal safety and you drastically increase their chances of developing some type of mental health problem, from anxiety, stress, and depression to PTSD.
Over 8 million people in the U.S. experience PTSD. First Responders have an increased risk of developing PTSD due to their continual exposure to traumatic events. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that about 30 percent of first responders develop some type of behavioral health condition, such as depression and PTSD; ten percent more than the general population.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the recent civil unrest has placed an additional strain on everyone, especially first responders. Most first responders are working longer hours and experiencing intense trauma, from medical personnel treating and losing numerous COVID-19 patients, to peace officers facing increased crime and intensely dangerous situations. This constant exposure to trauma and severe emotions creates a chemical imbalance in the NMDA receptors in the brain, the area responsible for regulating emotional response. PTSD symptoms such as anxiety, depression, fear, high blood pressure, and emotional detachment are thought to be caused by the NMDA receptors in the brain.
While first responders are the first to step forward when someone needs help, they rarely will seek help for themselves. Family, friends, and co-workers of first responders can help by watching for the symptoms and encouraging them to seek help. Ketamine infusion therapy is an effective treatment for PTSD. Ketamine blocks the NMDA receptors which restores normal levels of protein synthesis and improves neuron communication through increased synapsis connections. Ketamine infusion therapy also enables patients to explore emotions attached to traumatic memories without experiencing severe reactions due to the slightly dissociative quality of Ketamine.
Typical treatment of PTSD with anti-depressants is unsuccessful for about 30% of patients, and for those who do see success it can take up to 12 weeks for minimal improvements. However, Ketamine infusion therapy for PTSD typically shows improvements within 24 hours of the first infusion. Multiple studies have shown that the impact of Ketamine infusion therapy for PTSD and other anxiety disorders can last for up to 14 weeks after the very first series. The side effects are minimal and short-term compared to the extensive side effects of anti-depressant medications. If patients are taught the early signs of recurrence or relapse, a treatment schedule can be developed to prevent those recurrences.
If you are a first responder or know a first responder, who is suffering from symptoms of PTSD, Ketamine infusion treatments can be the answer you are looking for. Talk to your doctor and call Ketamine Infusion Center to begin treatment today.

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