Is Ketamine Legal In The US? [July 2022]

By Austin Dixon | Updated July 6, 2022 | Ketamine

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If you suffer from anxiety, depression, or PTSD, then you may have heard by now that ketamine treatment is a promising option.

But, recreational use of ketamine is also prominent among partygoers due to its dissociative effects.

As more research around ketamine comes to light, the legal status of this drug is beginning to change.

If you’re reading this article, you may be wondering is ketamine legal?

So in this article, we’ll explore the legalities around the use of ketamine in the United States.

What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a dissociative drug used by medical practitioners as a general anesthetic for patients.

It’s best known for acting on different chemicals in the brain to produce visual and auditory distortion, and a detachment from reality.

Ketamine has also widely been used as a “club drug” used by partygoers to heighten sensory perceptions and reduce inhibitions.

Since ketamine has a high potential for abuse, it has been a Schedule III controlled substance since 1999 by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Ketamine has been approved as an anesthetic by the FDA since 1970.

What Is Ketamine Used For?

Medically accepted uses of ketamine include treating chronic pain, mental disorders, and psychological disorders.

Ketamine treatments at higher doses are used to relieve severe pain for patients with fractures or joint dislocations.

At lower doses, ketamine therapy can help treat things like post traumatic stress disorder, trauma from sexual assault, and severe personality disorders.

How Is Ketamine Administered?

Ketamine can be administered through nasal spray, injection (IV) or infusion, or mixed into drinks (as a white powder).

Ketamine clinics typically use intravenous ketamine infusions with patients who suffer from mood disorders.

These patients are put in a safe, quiet, relaxing environment often accompanied by noice-cancelling headphones and calming music.

What Is Ketamine Therapy?

Ketamine therapy is a type of psychedelic-assisted therapy where patients receive a low dose of ketamine to help with treatment resistant depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.

Licensed medical professionals administer ketamine to patients in a safe environment and guide patients through the session.

Here’s a look at how ketamine infusions clinics work:

Ketamine use is always safest when administered by current medical professionals.

Ketamine is legal for medical use in the United States and select countries across the world. 

Since ketamine is a schedule III drug, ketamine is regulated and can only be administered by licensed clinicians in a controlled setting.

Any other use outside of registered ketamine clinics is currently illegal.

Many states continue pushing for full FDA approval of ketamine as more research of the positive benefits come to light.

Overall, ketamine is a form of psychedelic medicine that law-makers are still weighing the pros and cons of.

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Austin Dixon

About the Author

Austin Dixon is a recently converted psychonaut with a newfound interest in psychedelics and their affects on mental health. After thinking psychedelics were "weird hippie drugs" for 28 years, his mission is to now help educate others who are new to psychedelics.

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