The use of ketamine as a treatment option for various disorders just continues to grow and expand. In addition to the drugs current use as an anesthetic, analgesic, depression treatment and chronic pain management solution, scientists have recently found that ketamine may also be able to help those struggling with alcoholism. Studies have shown that ketamine infusions caused alcoholics to dramatically cut back on their drinking.
Today’s treatment methods for alcoholism are not particularly effective, especially when it comes to the long-term. Whether it is one of the approved medications on the market or inpatient rehabilitation, many find themselves falling back in to their bad habits eventually. It is believed that this occurs because of positive memories associate with drinking—recollection of these memories makes individuals want to drink again. Familiar environment triggers or cues become so ingrained in the mind of those addicted that drinking becomes a learned behavior.
The familiar sound of an NFL game about to start, attending a wedding, settling into the couch after a long day of work…these types of triggers can be hard for an alcoholic to avoid. And that’s what the remedies available today do not target: these positive memories. But this is also where scientists have found evidence that ketamine may play a role as a possible treatment option. Ketamine works by blocking the receptor NMDA, which is required for the formation of memories. By using ketamine, scientists found that they can essentially overwrite the memories that shape a person’s relationship with alcohol. In the studies that have been conducted, participants who were given ketamine reduced their average alcohol intake for several months after their initial dose.
These studies are continuing, but the results of the research so far indicate that ketamine could make a huge impact in helping those who are struggling with alcoholism. This treatment option can be added to the growing list of positive uses for this drug. Ketamine has already been shown effective in treating a plethora of other disorders to include psychiatric conditions, chronic pain, and migraine headaches to name a few. Ketamine also has been widely used as an anesthetic in surgery settings or emergency situations or if a person previously had an adverse reaction to traditional anesthesia medications.
Contact Our Ketamine Treatment Centers
Ketamine Greater Boston and Ketamine West Hartford are two of the Northeast’s leading ketamine treatment centers, offering ketamine infusions for depression and other psychiatric conditions. While ketamine for alcoholism is far from becoming available as a treatment, we are happy to answer any questions you have about ketamine or how it works in the brain. Contact our Boston or West Hartford area ketamine clinics using the brief form below.