Dr. Radowitz said he sees “no difference” between esketamine and ketamine, contrary to the FDA’s assessment. Still, he doesn’t think two hours is “necessary”. He acknowledges that Nushama’s practices differ from FDA protocols for administering esketamine, but he said he is not concerned about potential risks or legal liability. He said, ‘It doesn’t concern me. “I have no problem using this drug.”

For some patients, the promise of ketamine’s benefits outweigh its risks, legal status, and cost. Maria Kennedy, 30, who works in public relations, plans the first of her six “trips” to Nushama in October 2021. He had previously tried talk therapy and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for anxiety and depression, he said, but during the pandemic felt himself spiraling into a studio apartment, isolated and anxious. His physician, who knew Dr. Radowitz, referred him to Nushama.

Ms. Kennedy said that during some treatments she felt like she was floating in space, sitting under a comfortable eye mask and floating outside her body. In others, ketamine triggered precise, specific visions — once he saw his mother wrapping presents before a birthday party.

As long as the IV was removed, Ms. Kennedy said she would feel mostly normal. She lived in nushama, taking the time to peel herself off the “comfortable” chair. “The only thing I can compare it to is waking up after a really horrible sleep,” she said. Afterwards, she would take her dog to a cafe and read with a coffee or a beer.

Across the country, interest in ketamine clinics has grown. Since Soundmind opened in August 2021, they’ve had an average of over 100 people sign up a month. The Boise Ketamine Clinic in Idaho is booked up through the end of April for ketamine-supported psychiatric treatment. In San Diego, a clinic called South Coast TMS and Ketamine had a waiting list of 40 people for months, until the center raised its prices to $1,500 a session, a representative said.

Dustin Robinson, founder of the venture capital fund Iter Investments, which focuses on the psychedelics space, estimated that a typical ketamine clinic with five rooms makes $75,000 to $100,000 a month, with more potential if it’s fully booked. literally doubles. He said the profit margin could exceed 30 percent, according to industry reports Far more than most health care services. “There is not a huge amount of staff and the drug is very cheap – almost negligible – staff is the main cost,” he said.

Mr. Robinson knows Mr. Godfrey but is not an investor in Nushama, which charges $4,500 for seven sessions; Insurance for mental health rarely covers ketamine, but may also if diagnosed with pain. Nushama does not offer solo sessions. “Once you hit the gym, it’s hard to get in shape,” Mr. Melloff said.

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