What Is Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy?
Veterans Give KAP Rave Reviews
Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) uses microdosing (very small amounts) of the ketamine to allow the patient to have disassociative experience. It is during this disassociative experience, also known as microdosing to trip out, that the erasing magic of KAP happens. The medicine is delivered in a clinic setting by a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). The CRNA is the assisted part of KAP. They will be your guide and contact during the treatment. They administer the medicine via an IV-drip. The session lasts about 45 minutes with time on either end to prepare and recover. You will need a ride home just like any other medical procedure that uses this type of medicine. Our nationwide reach has shown that 6 session are required by the hundreds of KAP clinics found across the country. Three follow-up treatments happen over the following 1-6 months depending on the individual. You and your CRNA, who is with you all the time, will decide what’s best for you.
We are currently taking application for fully-covered treatment for Veterans or their family members.
KAP Is A Veteran Suicide Ass-Kicker
OAS advocates for the adoption of KAP at every VA, who needs to accelerate this and other psychedelic drugs to deal with the crisis that is 17 Veteran suicides a day. I have spoken to numerous Veterans with haunting memories from their service of one kind or another. All were at the end of their ropes and all found KAP to turn around and save their lives. The same can be said for their families who had to endure their PTSD, depression and anxiety without a way to help or help protect themselves from getting “infected” by their loved ones’ afflictions.
For Once A Soldier, 17 Veteran suicides a day means 17 families thrown into financial and emotional chaos.
What About The Cost?
Let’s first talk about the cost of ketamine. It is cheap. Super-cheap. It has been off-patent for many years now, and this benefit is not being leveraged by the VA. See below about how cheap it can be. Sadly, for now, it is out of the reach of most Veterans who are suicidal. From speaking to a variety of Vets and family across the country, we’ve seen prices for an individual session range from $120-$360. You won’t find it cheaper, and our experience shows that the middle or upper end of this range is what you can expect. Higher prices tend to be found in places like NYC and LA and the more affluent suburbs and towns across America. So the cost of ketamine is reasonable; what costs are the CRNAs – worth every penny – and the facility. For six sessions plus three follow-ups, you’re looking at anywhere between $1,080 to $3,240. Also, expect to pay for on-going visits just to keep the demons at bay.
As we noted in July of 2019 when SPRAVATO® nasal spray was approved by the FDA for VA use (highly-expensive), we thought that is was more about politics and money-grabbling than real care for our Veterans. The FDA tests were near complete failures and the drug itself if literally only half as good, if at all, because it is literally only half of the ketamine molecule. Since ketamine of off-patent, Johnson & Johnson had to invent a new one to patent. Read more about that here.
Hmm, where can we find a way to cut costs on the facility and the CRNAs?
The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,298 health care facilities, including 171 medical centers and 1,113 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year. Source
There are over 1,100 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) serve in the Veterans Health Administration. Source
The VA should start a KAP program to fight Veteran suicide today. Sadly, there are lobbyists from all sides of the medical and pharmaceutical industry that don’t’ want that to happen in a manner that is best for our Veterans. This is frustrating for all, and the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology sums up their position here.
The battleground for attaining the lucrative VA services is a battleground with unexpected combatants. A struggle between the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is ongoing as the two battle over a bill that would limit the ability of CRNAs to practice in VA system hospitals.
Historically, VA hospitals have only allowed physician anesthesiologists to treat patients, but during COVID, with staff limited and patient needs high, restrictions were relaxed. In April 2020 they allowed CRNAs to practice independently in some VA hospitals to alleviate the burden. Now that the pandemic caseloads are lowering, the American Society of Anesthesiologists has introduced a bill to once again restrict the practice authority of CRNAs in VA hospitals. Source
No matter the outcome of these issues in the future, the hear and now doesn’t care. Today, as you read this, 17 Veterans will take their service revolver or Glock, find a place at home or in their cars or at the VA, and blow their brains out. Those same tortured brains are now spread out over the family living room sofa, or the seat of the truck, or a lonely bedroom somewhere that became a fortress against the demons of PTSD, depression, and sadness. Let’s go people.
About Once A Soldier: Starting in 2017, our mission is to limit the scars of Veteran suicide. We offer prevention services and postvention services. We reach a national audience and our goal is to become the preferred channel for those who want to help Veteran families who need our services. With 17 Veteran suicides a day in 2021, we believe our two niche services will make a difference to each family and to our nation.