Off-label use of ketamine as a mind-altering substance did not begin in the laboratory, but in the psychedelic culture that grew out of the 1960s counterculture movement. Whatever the risks and limitations of such experimentation, without them the remarkable therapeutic effects of the drug might well have gone unnoticed, and unresearched. The following personal accounts—both inspiring and cautionary—offer glimpses into the cultural contexts that found ketamine to be much more than a reliable anesthetic.

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