DAYTON, Ohio — Dayton resident Andrew Sparks is joined by his wife Christine to receive a booster for his ketamine treatment, which he's been receiving since December at New Life Ketamine Clinic.
Sparks suffers from childhood trauma, PTSD, depression and an inflammation of the pancreas due to his lifestyle.
“My wife and I own a bar. We've been in the alcohol industry for a long time and I did some damage to my body," said Sparks. "Wasn't eating right, and I was drinking a lot. And so in December I was faced with, basically a lot of lifestyle changes."
Sparks said after being on antidepressants throughout his life, and after a five-day hospital stay, he was interested in starting ketamine infusion therapy.
He describes the feeling of euphoria.
“I find my thoughts basically re-arraigning themselves. The first 45-minute session that I did was like 10 years of therapy," said Sparks. "I accomplished more in 45 minutes by myself without having to ever to spin a word that I did—years of in and out of therapists' office."
Nurse Practitioner at New Life Ketamine Clinic, Jessamine Southard says while traditional treatments for mental health disorders can take up to four to six weeks to show benefits, in her experience, of her nearly 300 patients, 88% have found success, many on the first treatment.
“It's not widely talked about. There's a misconception with the abuse potential of ketamine. Everybody talks about it being like an animal tranquilizer, or Special K on the street, and so it comes with a misconception," said Southard. "So getting around that stigma and realize that it's being used very safely and in a prescription provider capacity, could be very effective towards your mental health."
Sparks said he's healthy, no longer drinking, and now comfortable with who he is as a husband.
The treatments and positive outlook have inspired him to seek out other career ambitions.
“I'm pre-law at the University of Findlay. I'm not entirely sure what I want to do about that yet. I have a lot of changes I would love to see in the world," said Sparks. "It's been a great experience and to be honest, ketamine has just helped to push me forward and really clarify what that path looks like."
Officials at New Life Ketamine clinic say the average patient takes six infusions at a cost of $500 per infusion. Currently, insurers do not have policies to cover the treatments.