Alcoholism is defined as the inability to control drinking due to both a physical and emotional dependency on alcohol. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive alcohol use is responsible for more than 95,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. This equates to approximately 261 deaths per day and can be attributed primarily to a lack of effective treatments for alcoholism.
The key to reducing alcohol-related harm is to stay sober, but people often relapse after only a short time. Unfortunately, current medications and rehabilitation for addiction are more of a band-aid solution instead of providing a long-term solution or cure. Over the past decade, there has been a growing interest in the use of ketamine to treat alcohol addiction in the hope of sustaining abstinence for longer.
Current treatment options for alcoholism do not target the positive memories that drinking has which make people want to continue to drink. Familiar environment triggers become ingrained in the memories of those who are addicted and subsequently they return to the learned behavior of drinking. Ketamine, on the other hand, is believed to rewire the brain and essentially erase these positive associations with alcohol.
Multiple studies have suggested that those struggling with addiction are more likely to have low levels of neuron and synapse growth. This means that they struggle to learn new information, such as alternative ways to handle certain situations. By using ketamine, scientists have found that it stimulates the growth of neurons and synapses which in turn provides an opportunity to overwrite the memories that shape a person’s relationship with alcohol.
The introduction of ketamine as a treatment option for alcohol addiction shows promise. From the studies that have been conducted so far, participants were able to reduce their average alcohol intake for months after their initial dose. Ketamine might also increase resilience, where individuals are able to bounce back if they “fall off the wagon” and stay motivated to resume working on their recovery. The progress being made with these innovative studies is keeping researchers hopeful in their development of new treatments for alcohol addiction.
Contact VIP Ketamine Clinics
Researchers will continue to study how ketamine affects the brain when it comes to addiction. Now, ketamine is available at clinics like ours around the country. Research shows that ketamine infusions result in minimal side effects, and is safe for many uses including to help with depression and chronic pain. Not everyone is a candidate for ketamine infusions, so if you or a loved one is struggling, contact us for a free consultation. Our Modesto, CA ketamine clinic will help you decide if ketamine is the right antidepressant for you.