May 7, 2024

Lamar Odom speaks on his recovery, using ketamine to treat addiction

Story Robyn Weil

Original Article

Lamar Odom, whose battle with drug addiction led to a near-death experience, is opening up about his use of a synthetic drug that he said helped him beat addiction.

Odom, 41, said being treated with small doses of ketamine under medical supervision for the past two years has helped keep him sober.

"I went to rehab and did some other things, but ketamine came into my life at the right time," Odom told ABC News' Steve Osunsami in an interview that aired Monday on "Good Morning America." "I'm feeling amazing."

"I'm alive. I'm sober. I'm happy," he said.

Ketamine, a pain medication with hallucinogenic effects, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), was approved in the 1970s as a rapid-acting anesthetic by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

One decade later, in the 1980s, it became a popular club drug.

What health officials are now discovering is that, in small doses, the drug may be helpful to people struggling with everything from addiction to anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicidal feelings and other mental health conditions where the person has not seen lasting success with other treatments.

Odom, who made his name as a NBA star, has said previously that he had his first encounter with drugs at the age of 12.