Behavioral health experts have always strived to help people deal with the potentially devastating effects of depression. Now, in the midst of a pandemic, their job has become that much more difficult. Yet, recent developments in the field may offer help: ketamine therapy and psychedelic clinics. How these two areas develop in the near future could shift some priorities in behavioral healthcare marketing.
Ketamine therapy in particular has been getting more and more attention. In recent years, ketamine has been increasingly used to remedy mood disorders, reduce suicidal thoughts and alleviate chronic pain symptoms. It’s widely viewed as an effective anesthetic. In fact the World Health Organization indicates that ketamine is the most widely used anesthetic around the globe.
Many therapists, however, are looking far beyond its anesthetic properties. They see ketamine therapy as a heaven-sent drug that can reduce the effects of PTSD and depression. It’s worth noting that ketamine actually works on the physical level, assisting in repairing damage done to the central nervous system. This is a key reason we’re likely to see this kind of therapy on the increase in the behavioral healthcare field.
Ketamine Therapy as a Viable Addiction Treatment Modality
In dual diagnosis treatment at addiction treatment centers, ketamine therapy and ketamine clinics have already begun to appear. As an antidepressant, ketamine is very attractive. Many antidepressants take weeks to finally kick in. By contrast, ketamine can alleviate depression symptoms within hours. Not all patients respond to the drug. However, when they do, it can be a game changer in therapy.
Ketamine therapy may be a game changer for depression but it’s been a long time coming. Although its properties for relieving depression were first identified 20 years ago, it was only recently that a component of ketamine (esketamine) was approved by the FDA for treating depression.
As ketamine therapy becomes more accepted, it becomes the first stepping stone toward a view of using psychedelics to remedy mental issues. Once the domain of hippies, psychedelics are likely to have a greater presence within the next year or two. The truth is that psychedelic clinics are about to make their presence known. Some ketamine clinics are getting ready to make MDMA and psilocybin available once they become legally prescribed substances. This will be sooner than some people realize. MDMA is expected to become legal in 2021. Psilocybin use for depression may arrive shortly after.
Look for Psychedelic Clinics to Pop Up… and Soon
As we speak, the FDA is moving forward at a rapid pace toward approval of psilocybin as a treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD). The hallucinogenic substance in magic mushrooms has received “breakthrough therapy” status. As a result, it could soon find itself an established part of the treatment landscape.
Phase 3 trials are expected to conclude sometime in 2021. Once those trials are successfully completed, psilocybin is believed to have a one-in-three chance of gaining approval, given the history of treatments that have earned breakthrough therapy status.
Just how big of a thing will psychedelic clinics become in the future? If we listen to leading authorities on the subject, there’s every reason to believe that the US could have something like 6,000 psychedelic clinics in operation by 2030.
Marketing Psychedelics: Challenges & Possibilities
Marketing ketamine therapy and psychedelic clinics could well become a prominent conversation in 2021. There are many ways that psychedelics could emerge as a significant new innovation in treatment. However, it’s also possible for things to go south if psychedelic treatment marketing isn’t handled correctly.
There’s one issue that healthcare professionals are all too familiar with. “The addiction treatment space has had its share of dishonest players who tarnish the industry’s reputation,” says Dan Gemp, CEO of Dreamscape Marketing. He feels that the same people who don’t hesitate to traffic patients will likely take the wrong approach to psychedelics as well.
“There’s the danger that these less-than-ethical centers could overhype ketamine due to a lack of oversight,” says Gemp. “If the marketing of some centers doesn’t take an ethical approach, any legitimacy that psilocybin has may be compromised just as things are getting off the ground. At that point, the best efforts by accredited facilities could get lost in the shuffle when bad-faith practitioners start getting bad press.”
In terms of marketing, there are preconceptions about ketamine therapy and psychedelic clinics that will have to be overcome. Ketamine therapy and psychedelic clinics will need to be branded. It can’t have any hint of being some sort of hippie remnant of the 1960s. Instead, it has to be branded as a reliable healthcare innovation that integrates seamlessly with modern therapy techniques.
“With the advent of ketamine therapy and psychedelic clinics, a lot of websites are going to need to add a lot of new content,” says Gemp. “And I don’t mean a single landing page saying you offer it and that’s it. There needs to be supporting blogs and videos that showcase an important addition to the behavioral healthcare landscape.”
Curious about what’s going on in the world of digital marketing for addiction treatment centers? Give Dreamscape a call at 888.307.7304 or contact us online to speak with a Digital Marketing Strategist today.