Retired NBA All-Star Lamar Odom, known for marrying Khloe Kardashian and overdosing at a brothel, is no stranger to controversy. He’s recently made headlines for allegedly skipping child support payments, alongside his upcoming boxing match with musician/celebrity-scandal-extraordinaire, Aaron Carter. Odom has been very outspoken since his 2015 overdose when he experienced twelve seizures and six strokes, and always talks candidly about his experiences while providing a cautionary tale surrounding drug abuse. Upon the release of his new documentary, Lamar Odom: Re/Born, available today on YouTube, the basketball player has made unprecedented headlines in support of ketamine infusion treatments. Conceivably the first celebrity to speak in favor of using ketamine to treat addiction, depression, PTSD, and anxiety. With that in mind, is Lamar Odom the designated celebrity spokesperson for ketamine infusions?
A Breakthrough in Treating Depression and Addiction?
So, what is ketamine, and how does it serve a purpose in treating such widespread illnesses? Isn’t ketamine a club drug? A horse-tranquilizer-turned-Mythbusters-episode? Yes, ketamine has made headlines for its popularity (especially in the UK) amongst ravers and club-goers, but in more recent years, ketamine has developed a positive reputation amongst the medical community for its multi-purpose efficacy. Yes, ketamine is an anesthetic used by veterinarians, but it’s also an FDA-approved treatment for depression, AKA the only depression-related therapy that’s evolved in the last 30 years! Even Sanjay Gupta gives his stamp of approval and says ketamine could “provide a lifeline for suicidal thoughts.”
Ketamine plays a vital role in Lamar Odom’s new documentary, providing the audience an inside look into his very-own first-time experience and subsequent treatment plan. Thirteen minutes into the documentary, we watch Odom experience his first ketamine infusion, which looks more like a dimly-lit cuddle session than anything else! With headphones, comfy blankets, and the subdued, dulcet tones of the doctors and nurse practitioners, Lamar comes to consciousness and says: “I’ve never felt this good in my life… I thought I was in heaven!” Odom’s ketamine-shaman, Dr. Steven Mandel, founder of Ketamine Clinics of LA, explains that ketamine helps patients by “getting in touch with aspects of themselves that have been elusive for many years.” Mandel describes the brain’s ability to disassociate on ketamine, causing out-of-body experiences, which Lamar explicitly describes.
Odom Paves the Way for New Treatment Methods
“While he’s having that out-of-body experience, he’s gaining access to a lot of his stored memories, his stored sensations. He’s able to re-examine them and re-work them from a very different perspective,” explains Dr. Mandel, a breakthrough for Lamar’s extensive memory loss, caused by his fateful 2015 overdose. He’s come a long way since his days on Keeping Up With the Kardashians and helps pave a new path for those suffering. “Ketamine treatment has got me to the point where I want to open up and be transparent,” Lamar expresses with a smile, seeming hopeful and revitalized.
In a recent interview with Page Six, Dr. Mandel spoke on Odom’s public endorsement: “to have a prominent person call people’s attention to this, it’s a thrill,” the ketamine expert hopes Lamar Odom’s personal journey will encourage others to seek help. “This is a big deal. We have lots of celebrity patients, some of whom really couldn’t function until they came to us. Many of them even say they’re going to come out but because of their own discomforts, they don’t. This is the guy who had the courage to do so and it really will help others.”
Watch Lamar Odom: Re/Born, now streaming on YouTube.