AUSTIN, TX – According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, millions of Americans will battle or have battled drug addiction and 85% will relapse within a year of treatment.
Those starting a new program in downtown Austin believe their methods will dramatically reduce that percentage.
Within, which officially opens May 3, uses ketamine therapy. The center will combine psychedelic medicine with “next generation holistic healing and functional wellness” to treat mental health issues and addictions, including substance abuse, PTSD and depression.
“I’ve been in recovery for about five years,” said Austin resident Ryan Saldanha. “I’ve been in probably about ten rehabs, three or four rehabs and two psychiatric wards and at some point in my life I’ve been on eight different drugs.”
Saldanha underwent ketamine therapy as a “last stop”.
“Having the opportunity to do psychedelic therapy with intensive healing made me realize that there is light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
Luke Carver shared a similar story with FOX 7. He was addicted to a variety of substances before trying psychedelic therapy. He is now the Client Care Coordinator at Within.
“The neuroplasticity in your brain is very mild after using something like ketamine, so it gives you the opportunity to reprogram your brain and create new habits and new patterns in your life,” Carver said. “It’s the most beautiful thing to watch someone go through their healing and know that the things you’re doing are actually working.”
It’s a new way of looking at modern medicine, even for some who have been there.
“For years I’ve seen people walk in and out of the hospital, walk into the office, not get better, the drug lists get longer, and the patients really do get by,” said Eric Miller MD , medical director of Within. “It’s a shift from adaptation to healing.”
Nurse practitioner Jennifer Zuckerman, who recently left California to help launch the program, echoed Miller’s experience.
“I had been working in private practice for years, and it was just helping people with one more drug and another drug,” Zuckerman said. “We have a lot of great things, teachings and tools of modern medicine, but we need a lot more support and improvement, especially when it comes to mental health.”
Psychedelic therapy has attracted the attention of medical professionals and researchers in recent years. In December, Dell Medical School at UT Austin launched the Center for Psychedelic Research and Therapy to explore the use of psychedelics as a treatment for mental health issues.
For more information on psychedelic therapy or Within, click here.