For people suffering from addiction and alcoholism, there often seems to be no way to break the cycle. And although there are lots of resources available from this common affliction, the number of people that relapse proves that Alcoholics Anonymous is not for everyone. Even rehab, therapy, and medications that work to discourage drinking do not always help. But that doesn’t mean that alcoholics have no hope; in recent years, doctors have started looking to a drug called ketamine to help. Keep reading to learn more about ketamine treatment for alcoholism!
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is an FDA-approved medication that is mainly used for starting and maintaining anesthesia, but it has served other purposes as a medicinal drug. Researchers found that it proves useful as a way to manage chronic pain and psychiatric disorders like severe depression, anxiety, and OCD. After some experimentation using it to help people with cocaine addictions, it made sense that similar results could be possible for people struggling with alcoholism and other substance use disorders.
How It Works for Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Researchers from new case studies and clinical trials done by Columbia University have found that a single dose of ketamine treatment can be very effective in treating alcoholics. In these results published by the American Journal of Psychiatry, it was reported that a single dose of ketamine was consistent in producing long-lasting effects in reducing alcohol withdrawal, reduced drinking, and erasing reward memories.
For most people struggling with alcoholism, going through withdrawal and the effects of reward memories pose the biggest challenge; these symptoms make it more difficult to curb drinking behavior. In withdrawal, people used to heavy drinking are likely to experience symptoms like shakiness, sweating, loss of appetite, agitation, nausea, headaches, and even seizures. In light of these symptoms, alcoholics may prefer the consequences of their addiction just to keep from experiencing alcohol withdrawal. Reward memories are memories associated with drinking behavior that is not dissimilar to smelling good food and becoming hungry as a result. Ketamine treatments are proven to disrupt both withdrawal symptoms and reward memories, consequently cutting the recipient’s drinking days down.
Other Proven Uses for Ketamine Treatment
Ketamine has many other uses that make it valuable in medicine. Many doctors will recommend this treatment for people suffering from mental disorders like OCD, anxiety, depression, and other substance use disorders. Do your research on ketamine treatments and ask your doctor if this is a suitable treatment for you.
Potential Side Effects of Ketamine Treatments
For alcohol abusers and other sufferers, ketamine infusion can be life-saving. But this method of treatment can still have some side effects. Some common side effects of ketamine treatments include:
- High blood pressure
- Nausea and vomiting
- Perceptual disturbances or disorientation (patients may complain of time seeming to speed up or slow down. Certain colors, textures, and noises may be more stimulating and vision may be temporarily blurred.)
- Out of body experiences
These symptoms are usually only very noticeable during the first infusion and are over very quickly after the treatment is completed. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to report it to your doctor so that they may decide if ketamine is still an option for you going forward.
Mindscape for Ketamine Infusion Therapy
At Mindscape Ketamine & Infusion Therapy, our focus is to provide affordable concierge treatments for people looking to receive ketamine treatments as an alternative to traditional methods for alcoholism and other disorders. You don’t have to suffer from the effects of alcoholism disorder. If you are looking into receiving ketamine treatment for alcoholism, contact us today! We can give you more information on how it works and establish whether or not you are a good candidate.