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CONTENTS CONTRIBUTIONS – Offering proven success and long-lasting results, ketamine represents hope and healing in the treatment of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more.
In Desert Sands Ketamine Treatment Center in St. George, Dr. Eric Evans is exploring the new frontier of using ketamine infusion therapy to address mental health disorders and chronic pain conditions.
“A drug that can reduce pain and elevate your mood can be life altering,” he said. “We like to help people become more functional and feel like themselves again.”
Recognized as the The best of southern Utah, Desert Sands Ketamine won silver in the category of mental and behavioral health treatments for 2022 and gold in alternative therapies last year. There is a huge need in the community, Evans said, and he is committed to helping as many people as possible.
Mental health disorders
Evans said many patients come to Desert Sands Ketamine after trying multiple medications and forms of therapy to manage their mental health without much, if at all, success. For these patients, ketamine offers hope when other treatments have failed. This is because it works differently.
Rather than increasing serotonin or dopamine levels like prescribed antidepressants, ketamine targets the brain’s glutamate system and potentiates a chemical known as a brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which plays an essential role in mood stability. Evans pointed to a research study conducted by Yale University in patients with treatment-resistant depression that demonstrated a success rate of 70 percent, nearly double that of antidepressants.
“With ketamine, people can wake up in the morning and joy is once again a possibility for them,” he said.
Chronic pain conditions
Although ketamine has received a lot of attention in recent years as a breakthrough mental health treatment, Evans said the medical world is only now discovering how beneficial it can be for pain conditions. Ketamine is a highly effective pain reliever and dissociative anesthetic. When given in therapeutic doses via intravenous infusion, pain relief begins almost immediately. In some cases, remission of up to one year is possible.
Desert Sands Ketamine treats patients with complex regional pain syndrome, back pain, migraine, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetic nerve pain, among other conditions. For these individuals, ketamine allows them to participate more comfortably in everyday life, while also regulating the emotional imbalances that often accompany chronic pain.
“Treating their mood disorder was an important part of helping them get their pain under control,” Evans said. “Ketamine has been fantastic in helping people with both problems.”
Better results with fewer side effects
While there are many prescription antidepressants on the market, most of them have a host of unpleasant side effects such as erectile dysfunction, nausea, insomnia, and weight gain. Another common complaint among people taking antidepressants is that although the drug eliminates their emotional lows, it often removes the highs as well. Evans said the “numb” state isn’t a problem with ketamine.
“Leave these things intact and yet treat people’s mental health problems in a unique and new way,” he added. “Ketamine has been nothing short of miraculous for many people in our clinic.”
Ketamine is also a much safer alternative to frequently prescribed opioids for chronic pain, Evans said. It is not addictive and is well tolerated at low doses by the vast majority of patients.
Learn more about ketamine
Desert Sands Ketamina offers a comfortable, spa-like healing environment with compassionate staff who are dedicated to helping patients achieve the best possible results. Each patient’s experience begins with a free consultation to discuss their problems and determine if ketamine is right for them. The clinic also provides patients with resources to improve all aspects of their well-being, including dietary guidance, meditation, massage therapy, relationship counseling, and speech therapy.
Unlike many ketamine treatment providers, Desert Sands Ketamine is a doctor-driven practice. And because people often take multiple medications to manage pain and mood disorders, Evans personally meets with each patient to review their medical history and underlying health issues. Infusions are tailored to meet each patient’s individual needs for optimal results.
“Each person has such a unique story and a number of problems they are dealing with,” he said. “We try to use a comprehensive approach for each patient.”
For more information or to schedule a free consultation, visit the Desert Sands Ketamine Treatment Center website or call 435-522-5190.
Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.
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