Gerard Sanacora, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Yale Depression Research Program, spoke on a panel May 30 in Arlington, Va., about new medical applications for common drugs of abuse.
Sanacora shared his research on the use of the anesthetic ketamine to treat depression. In the early 1990s, Yale researchers discovered that chronically depressed patients experienced almost immediate relief from their symptoms after taking ketamine, which is also abused as a party drug Special K.
Sanacora and other researchers at Yale treat patients with ketamine at Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital’s Interventional Psychiatric Services facility.
Sanacora was one of three speakers on the panel, titled “Designer Drugs: A New Look at Some Old (and Not So Old) Drugs.” The discussion was held at the Drug Enforcement Administration Museum & Visitors Center.
It was moderated by Mark S. Gold, MD, an alumnus of the Yale Psychiatry Residency Program. Gold is Chair of Rivermend Health’s Scientific Advisory Boards.
Panelists discussed new medical applications for common drugs of abuse. “Club Drugs” including nitrous oxide, ketamine, and MDMA are seeing increasing use by medical doctors as treatments for conditions like depression and PTSD. The panelists talked about the abuse of these drugs and their research into new, legitimate uses.