Posted inHealth, News

Ketamine is quietly helping Colorado patients with severe depression at a community mental health center

Eric Novikoff slid a mask over his eyes, covered his ears with headphones, then sunk into a brown leather chair and floated into the void.  As the ketamine took effect, the room at the Mental Health Center of Denver “disappeared.” Novikoff’s body disappeared, too. His consciousness existed in a black nothingness, a space that made […]

Posted inHealth, News

Colorado panel issues recommendations for when ketamine should be used outside of hospital settings

By Patty Nieberg, The Associated Press/Report for America Colorado’s health department announced Wednesday that emergency workers should not use a condition involving erratic behavior by people as a reason to inject them with the drug ketamine. The announcement came two years after the fatal arrest of a Black man in suburban Denver who had been […]

Posted inCrime and Courts, News, Politics and Government

Colorado governor signs wave of criminal justice bills into law, including ketamine measure spurred by Elijah McClain’s death

Gov. Jared Polis indefinitely prohibited the use of ketamine outside of hospital settings for people experiencing “excited delirium” as he signed into law a bill limiting when the powerful sedative can be used in situations involving law enforcement.  House Bill 1251 was inspired by the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who died […]

Posted inHealth, News, Politics and Government

Effort to limit ketamine use by Colorado paramedics, police advances toward governor’s desk

By Patty Nieberg, The Associated Press/Report for America A Colorado bill aims to limit the use of ketamine in law enforcement encounters, almost two years after the death of Elijah McClain, a Black man who was injected with the drug while under arrest in Aurora in 2019. The bill, which was passed on Monday by […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Rep. Caraveo: In the wake of unnecessary deaths, it’s past time to regulate ketamine in police situations

Police brutality has plagued communities across our state and country for decades, yet recent high-profile cases have forced lawmakers to re-examine the relationship between police officers and the public.  Since the passage of Senate Bill 217 in 2020, the Colorado General Assembly has continued to examine the ways in which our laws are not protecting […]

Posted inColoradans, Crime and Courts, Health, News

Colorado medics may have misdiagnosed “excited delirium” hundreds of times when dosing people with ketamine

Paramedics unnecessarily sedated hundreds of people with ketamine during confrontations with police officers in Colorado, exposing them to potentially life-threatening complications associated with the drug. That’s according to an estimate from Dr. Mark DeBard, a professor emeritus of emergency medicine at Ohio State University and expert in cases of “excited delirium.” “It may represent a […]

Posted inCrime and Courts, Health, News

Colorado anesthesiologists want paramedics to stop injecting people with ketamine during arrests

By Patty Nieberg, The Associated Press/Report for America A group of Colorado anesthesiologists wants paramedics to stop injecting people with a powerful sedative when police believe suspects are out of control until officials finish a review launched nearly a year after the death of Elijah McClain, a Black man put in a stranglehold by officers […]

Posted inCrime and Courts, Health, News

State health department announces review of ketamine waivers one year after Elijah McClain’s death

Colorado’s health department will review the controversial waiver program that allows medics to administer the powerful tranquilizer ketamine in the field. The review was announced Saturday, two days before the first anniversary of the encounter that preempted the death of Elijah McClain after an encounter with Aurora police. McClain, 23, was given a dose of […]

Posted inCrime and Courts, Health, News

Coloradans dosed with ketamine during police confrontations — like Elijah McClain was — want investigation

A growing number of people want Colorado officials to pause or ban medics from using ketamine on people during escalated confrontations with police. The list includes two men who were given the powerful anesthetic when medics and police decided they showed signs of “excited delirium” or extreme “agitation.” “I felt like it was over,” said […]