Depressed, anxious Floridians turn to unregulated psychedelics

One 10 ml vial of 1000 mg ketamine. Credit: Psychonaught/Wikipedia

Ashley Blanco, 27, has grappled with anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder for the better part of a decade. Antidepressants and therapy didn’t help. After she graduated college, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. It sent her mental health to an all-time low.

“I couldn’t function. I wouldn’t leave my room,” she said. “I completely lost who I was.”

The Miami resident was desperate to return to her old self. Her dad saw the intensity of her crisis in January 2021 and decided to recommend something new he had heard about from a friend: ketamine infusions. Blanco was hesitant at first, but gave it a try.

“He basically saved my life,” Blanco said. “It’s the best decision I could have ever made.”

Ketamine is perhaps most well-known as a party drug that causes disassociation and hallucinations, dubbed “Special K.” When used frequently and recreationally, especially at high doses,…

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