A green-tinged video of a naked Hunter Biden in a flotation tank undergoing a drug detox in Massachusetts — while smoking crack and drinking alcoholic seltzer — has been a source of great public mirth since it was discovered on the president’s son’s abandoned laptop.
But now Hunter’s former psychiatrist, Dr. Keith Ablow, has broken his silence to defend the intravenous ketamine therapy Hunter received in late 2018 and early 2019 as he tried to beat his crack cocaine addiction.
Ablow claims ketamine, a common, inexpensive anesthetic used in surgery, is a miracle drug that has played poor cousin to much less efficacious pharmaceuticals in treating ailments such as addiction and depression — and recent scientific studies back him up.
Despite appearances, Ablow could point to the drug’s success with Hunter, who has managed an apparent three years of sobriety, a lucrative newfound career as an artist and a relatively tranquil second marriage to South African filmmaker Melissa Cohen, in May 2019, six days after they met — and less than four months after his ketamine therapy ended.
Ablow’s emergence coincides with a major review published last week in the journal of Molecular Psychiatry which showed that commonly prescribed anti-depressants, known as SSRIs, don’t really work, exploding a 30-year-old theory that depression is caused by low levels of a “feel good” neurotransmitter in the brain called serotonin.
Unlike the newly discredited SSRIs, ketamine works quickly and through a finite number of treatments to rewire the brain and allow new insights to break debilitating old patterns, according to Ablow.
“So, if a cocaine addict and dealmaker were to decide he was actually an artist, one could harken back to any ketamine treatment and wonder whether that was a positive contributing factor,” he said, in an oblique reference to Hunter.
“Without even confirming or refuting whether Mr. Biden was ever treated by me, those who would dismiss the possibility of completely changing one’s life are those who would also dismiss the opportunity for redemption, and I dismiss neither.”
While Ablow, a former Fox News contributor, refuses to confirm his treatment of Hunter, the laptop offers details of their close relationship for at least four months from November 2018, during which time they discussed writing a book together.
Hunter stayed in a cottage near Ablow’s office in tranquil Newburyport, Mass., at least twice for several days of intravenous ketamine treatment in December 2018 and January 2019, with frequent visits to the sensory deprivation float tank at the nearby Blue Water Wellness Center.
‘Never seen a bad result’
The laptop shows that after the relaxing treatments each day, Hunter would smoke crack and entertain prostitutes at night. But, despite his continued drug use during the treatment, Ablow is convinced of ketamine’s effectiveness.
“Having treated many hundreds of clients with ketamine I’ve never seen a bad result. Moreover, being in touch with at least 50 psychiatrists who use ketamine for their clients they, too, cannot share a single bad event wherein it triggered depression or caused psychosis. No cases of death and, shockingly, almost no one reports anyone drug-seeking ketamine [for recreational use] when it is used therapeutically,” Ablow says.
“People do not game the system trying to get more. They become increasingly reflective, responsible and fixed on their real goals.”
Ablow did not personally administer the ketamine drips but would conduct talking therapy with patients in the days afterwards. He was “repeatedly startled by the fact they would sometimes relate absolutely gripping insights that seemed very true to them and genuine to me and served as a map for them to change their lives in very productive ways.”
Studies show that ketamine effectively relieved depression and reduced suicidal thoughts in patients when administered by a doctor in finely-tuned drips.
A review of 10 studies published in October 2017 in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that more than half of participants were free of suicidal thoughts within one day of a single ketamine infusion, for up to a week.
A 2018 review in the journal, Frontiers in Psychiatry, found ketamine infusions also reduced cocaine cravings and use rates, and improved abstinence rates in alcohol and opioid users.
A study in the Journal of Neuropharmacology in 2018 found that “Ketamine has been shown to effectively prolong abstinence from alcohol and heroin in detoxified alcoholics and heroin dependent individuals, respectively.”
A 2020 study in the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, found ketamine worked effectively to treat depression.
It can “act quickly and improve depressive symptoms in a very short time,” said Psychology Today. “In contrast, an SSRI antidepressant may take weeks to work, if it does work.”
Ketamine’s effect on depression was so promising that, in 2019, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new nasal spray version by Big Pharma.
Unfortunately, as Ablow points out, the new treatment costs $729 for two sprays, compared to less than $20 for the cost of intravenous ketamine given off label, and studies show the spray may not be as effective.
It has to be pointed out that Ablow’s medical license was suspended in May 2019 by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, over allegations of sexual misconduct towards patients.
That was four weeks after Hunter dropped off his infamous “Laptop From Hell” at John Paul Mac Isaac’s computer repair shop, near Joe Biden’s home in Delaware, and never returned, despite knowing that his father was about to announce he was running for president, and the contents of the laptop had the potential to destroy his campaign.
Often forgotten is that earlier that year, Hunter had left a second laptop at Ablow’s Newburyport premises and never retrieved it despite multiple reminders.
Then, in February 2020, that second laptop was seized from a safe in Ablow’s office during a raid by the Drug Enforcement Administration, which led to no charges against the psychiatrist.
Laptops aside, Ablow is so positive about ketamine he thinks it should be trialled as a treatment for New York’s homeless, under careful medical supervision.
A pilot program to see if ketamine can break the vicious cycle of addiction, depression, and homelessness “would be one of the most transformational and positive things we could do.”
Instead of heroin-injecting rooms, ketamine infusions followed by intensive counseling could make a difference where nothing else has worked.
At this point, what does Mayor Adams have to lose?
Hunter Biden went from the flop house to the White House in less than two years. He may not be the traditional poster boy for good behavior, but no one can deny he turned his life around.
Nancy Pelosi should keep her nose out of international tinderboxes like Taiwan. No one needs the 82-year-old House Speaker tottering around Kiev or Taipei playing diplomat in her four-inch Jimmy Choos.
But nor should Joe Biden be kowtowing to Chinese aggression.
Thanks to the president’s latest off the cuff folly, Pelosi’s Taiwan trip has taken on a WWIII vibe.
“Well, I think that the military thinks it’s not a good idea right now,” the President told reporters Wednesday, after the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a dire warning that Pelosi’s travel plans “undermined relations between Beijing and Washington” and would force
China to take “resolute and forceful measures to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Making matters worse, when Pelosi was asked about Biden’s comments, she said: “I think what the President is saying [is] maybe the military was afraid our plane would get shot down or something like that by the Chinese.”
As China specialist Gordon G. Chang, points out, it’s not the Pentagon’s role to determine foreign policy, it is Biden’s.
“Moreover, disclosing the military’s advice, effectively undermining Pelosi and the American government, served only to bolster the worst elements in Beijing.”’
But now that Biden has put his foot in it, if Pelosi does not go to Taiwan, China will feel bullying pays off.
Miranda Devine is the author of “Laptop From Hell.”