A southern California-based therapy clinic that utilizes ketamine to address root causes of mental and chronic physical health issues has opened its first outlet, basing it in Santa Monica, at 2730 Wilshire Blvd.

According to their press release, “Kure’s evidence-based, medically supervised treatments combine modern Western medicine and Eastern wisdom in ‘psychedelic’ therapy that can expand a patient’s awareness.”

Dr. Steve Yun, medical director of Kure, board certified physician and anesthesiologist, with over 25 years experience, has been working with ketamine and with patients with psychological and psychiatric illnesses his entire career. “In recent years ketamine therapy and these subclinical doses of ketamine therapy have been popularized as a means to alternatively treat severe forms of depression, post traumatic stress disorder, and other psychiatric and psychological illnesses,” Yun says.

First synthesized in 1962 and approved for use in the US in 1970, ketamine has been regularly used in veterinary medicine and was extensively used for surgical anesthesia in the Vietnam War. In contemporary culture it’s commonly associated with being a “horse tranquilizer,” but its usefulness has in fact been quite extensive. However, it’s probably best known for its appearance on the club scene in the late 90s and through the 2000’s, beginning in Hong Kong and soon spreading all the way to London.

It was around this time that the antidepressant qualities of ketamine became known and it has been described in numerous scientific publications as the single most important advance in the treatment of depression in more than 50 years, effectively shifting the direction of research and development. Ronald Duman, Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology Director, Yale University said in 2012, “The rapid therapeutic response of ketamine in treatment-resistant patients is the biggest breakthrough in depression research in a half century.”

Consequently, it was included in Schedule III of the Controlled Substance Act, which defines it as a drug with “a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.” To put that in context, Schedule III drugs also include products containing not more than 90 milligrams of codeine or buprenorphine per dosage unit. This makes it possible for clinics like Kure to safely and legally prescribe ketamine. And it isn’t the only company to open a ketamine clinic in Los Angeles. In 2021, Ketamine Therapy LA opened at 7901 Santa Monica Blvd and in September of last year Pasithea Clinics, a subsidiary of Miami-based biotech firm Pasithea Therapeutics, opened a West Hollywood clinic at 9201 Sunset Blvd, to name just two.

“We wanted to be somewhere where there is, for lack of a better word, competition, because we know that there are a lot of ketamine clinics in the West LA, Beverly Hills areas,” Yun says. “We want to go right where the action is, where there’s already a lot of buzz and a lot of familiarity with ketamine therapy. And certainly, Los Angeles is one of those hotspots.”

Kure was founded in 2022 and is currently considering additional locations with plans to expand further in the immediate area, but why is there such a need in Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica and other such west Los Angeles locales..?

“We know that depression, anxiety and other psychological psychiatric diseases are rampant. There’s literally an epidemic, it’s only gotten worse with the pandemic. I think there’s something in particular about life in West LA. It does seem that the rates of depression and anxiety are higher here than other parts of the country.

“I’m not an epidemiologist, so I can only conjecture, but there’s no question that depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric disorders have gotten worse in the last five to 10 years. And more and more people are needing therapy. And more and more people are finding that traditional therapies are often just not quite enough to help them live normal happy, healthy, productive lives.”

Unfortunately though, Yun says that at this point in time, as far as he is aware, the vast majority of insurance companies will not cover ketamine therapy. “Anytime you introduce a new therapy, especially when it’s cutting edge, insurance companies are usually the last one to come on board and provide coverage.”

Kure is open by appointment Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm. As a licensed medical facility, Kure meets all state and federal regulations. To learn more, please visit kureketamine.com, call 424-238-5533 or email info@kureketamine.com.


Scott fell in love with Santa Monica when he was much younger and now, after living and working in five different countries, he has returned. He's written for the likes of the FT, NBC, the BBC and CNN.