‘A complete approach to each patient’: Desert Sands Ketamine offers relief for mood disorders, chronic pain

Stock image | Photo by fizkes/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Living with a mood disorder or chronic pain condition is a daily battle that presents many challenges. Ketamine infusions can offer rapid relief and lasting results.

Dr. Eric Evans and Shannon Evans, owners of Desert Sands Medical Clinics, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News

Ketamine has been used in medicine worldwide for over 50 years in the emergency room, in the operating room and on the battlefield.

At Desert Sands Ketamine Treatment Center, Dr. Eric Evans administers ketamine via IV infusions to treat depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders as well as chronic pain conditions. 

“Using ketamine in this new way to treat people suffering from difficult disorders has been so exciting,” he said. “It’s incredibly rewarding to see how we are helping people change their lives for the better.” 

Mood disorders

Evans said people taking antidepressants typically don’t experience an improvement in mood until the medication reaches maximum efficacy, which can take several weeks. Ketamine, however, goes to work right away.  

“Our patients usually look forward to coming to the office and getting their infusions, as it puts them in an extremely relaxed and dreamlike state where they feel amazing afterward,” he added. 

Infusions take about an hour, and Evans said patients feel completely back to normal quickly, but the brain-derived neurotrophic factor remains elevated anywhere from days to weeks following treatment. After an infusion, the staff at Desert Sands will have a discussion with each patient about the sensations they experienced and where their thoughts traveled.

Chronic pain

As a board-certified anesthesiologist, Evans spent 15 years treating chronic pain patients in Southern Utah with nerve blocks, steroid injections and prescription drugs. During this time, he observed how their pain disorders adversely affected their mental health. Chronic pain strains finances, relationships and can lead to depression. 

Evans said he created Desert Sands to offer a lifeline to people living with depression and other mood disorders, but patients struggling with chronic pain, many of whom tried countless other therapies and found little relief, have also experienced remarkable – even life-changing – physical results as well.  

“Treating their mood disorder was a big part of helping them get their pain under control,” he said. “Ketamine has been amazing at helping people with both issues.” 

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears that lead to compulsive behaviors, obsessive-compulsive disorder is an exhausting mental struggle. Evans said people with OCD find it difficult to feel peaceful, content and relaxed. 

Evans said ketamine works in an entirely different way in the brain than traditional treatments for OCD and other mood disorders. It targets the amygdala, the area of the brain that plays a key role in baseline mood and emotional state. 

“During a ketamine infusion, the amygdala starts sending more signals of peacefulness and calm to our conscious mind,” he said. “We have had great success using ketamine alone or in combination with other methods to help OCD patients get back to functioning well and enjoying their life again.” 


Millions of Americans who experience frequent migraines know all too well how painful and debilitating the episodes can be. While ketamine has received much attention in recent years as a breakthrough treatment for mood disorders, Evans said the medical world is now discovering how beneficial it can be in treating chronic migraines. Ketamine is a highly effective painkiller and a dissociative anesthetic. 

Interior of the Desert Sands Ketamine Treatment Center, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News

“This means your conscious mind gets to take a little vacation while your pain is dealt with,” he said. “Ketamine works completely differently than other migraine medications, so it can be extremely helpful when other medications just aren’t taking care of things.”

Because ketamine is administered via IV infusion, pain relief begins almost immediately. Evans said many people who struggle with chronic migraines suffer from depression and anxiety as well. Ketamine helps boost their mood with lasting results.

At Desert Sands, Evans has created a spa-like, comfortable healing environment with compassionate staff who are dedicated to helping every patient achieve the best results possible. Every patient’s experience begins with a free consultation to discuss their issues and determine if ketamine is right for them. 

Additionally, the clinic provides patients with resources to improve all aspects of their well-being, including dietary guidance, meditation, massage therapy, relationship counseling and talk therapy. 

“We try to use a complete approach to each patient,” Evans said. “Our goal is to help you get back to living a passionate, rewarding and productive life as quickly as possible.”

For more information or to schedule a free consultation, visit the Desert Sands Ketamine Treatment Center website or call 435-522-5190.

Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.

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