A physician practicing at a treatment center in New York City is accused of prescribing ketamine to his addicted clients so he could eventually sexually abuse them, according to a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit filed this week.

Lawsuit Accusations

Benjamin Kimmel, an addiction recovery coach, launched a lawsuit accusing Dr. Ramesh Sawhney worked at the Recovery Spot of unprofessional and dangerous Mr. Kimmel, who both worked at a clinic located in Gramercy Park and sought treatment there, alleged of a number of unprofessional and dangerous practices. One of these allegations is that the doctor “improperly prescribed controlled substances to known addicts.” (The lawsuit says he prescribed it to himself, too.)

According to the lawsuit, Sawhney prescribed Ketamine infusions to patients. These patients were said to be vulnerable. Initially, he prescribed the controlled substance as a treatment to severely depressed or suicidal patients. While Mr. Kimmel says he was initially resistant to the treatment. After all, he was a recovering drug addict and ketamine is an unconventional treatment as well as a controlled substance. For whatever reason, Mr. Kimmel soon felt that it was worth a try.

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine, originally developed as a horse tranquilizer with little other uses, is a medication mainly used for anesthesia. For the person taking the ketamine, it creates a trance-like state and provides pain relief, and sometimes hallucinations. In the 1990’s, it was known as a rave party drug that was sometimes used as a date rape drug.

Today, ketamine remains a drug of abuse. Some studies have shown it is promising, in small doses, to battle depression.

Allegations of Sexual Abuse

Once Dr. Sawhney had given the patient several doses of ketamine and one of botox, the doctor then submitted phony insurance bills for the treatment, billing the insurance as a psychiatrist associated with The Recovery Spot.

After one of these treatments, the doctor sent sexual messages to the patient.

Mr. Kimmel’s lawsuit points to other allegations of sexual abuse by another former employee, who says that the doctor harassed her and forcibly kissed her.

The court case date has not yet been set.