Alcohol & Drug Abuse or Addiction Treatment
Ketamine infusion therapy can be very helpful in lowering cravings and maintaining sobriety from abuse or dependence on alcohol, opiates, and cocaine11. A 2015 survey found that over 21 million Americans suffer from some form of substance use disorder and, more frightening still, 63,600 people died from drug overdoses in 2016. These numbers are expected to rise as opioid addiction continues to increase. Alcohol use disorder affects approximately 7% of the adult population in the United States.
The signs of alcohol addiction, or alcohol use disorder, vary from one person to the next. For example, some people only binge drink on weekends while others drink on a daily basis, sometimes starting early on in the day.
Signs of alcohol abuse disorder or addiction include:
· Blackout drinking
· The inability to control how much you drink
· Craving alcohol
· Getting the “shakes” when you haven’t had alcohol
· Requiring a drink to get your day started
· Needing more alcohol to achieve the same effect
Substance abuse and drug addiction sometimes result in life-threatening and destructive behaviors.
Signs of substance abuse and addiction include:
· Physical withdrawal, such as the shakes or flu-like symptoms, or worse
· The inability to control use
· Poor performance at work or school
· Choosing your drug of choice over other activities
· Financial issues
· Difficulty in relationships with friends and family
· Severe anxiety
· Depression and suicide
Ultimately, alcohol is a drug. Addiction to any drug, including alcohol, can have a devastating effect on your life, as well as the lives of those around you. These addictions do not simply go away on their own. Alcohol and drug addiction rewires your brain, which governs your cravings. The new pathways established by your drug use continue to demand more of the drug, which leads to cravings. Ketamine works by creating new neural pathways, in effect rewiring your brain once again, without the addiction component. The drug also overrides memories of drinking and using, which reduces the triggers once you’ve quit. Ketamine therapy disrupts these pathways and creates new ones. Ketamine works quickly on these problems, sometimes after just one treatment22, as new connections are formed in your brain that bypasses the addiction. Ketamine therapy is especially useful in helping you maintain your sobriety, leading a life free from the bonds of drug addiction.
At Boulder Mind Care and Transcendent Ketamine of Colorado, we use Ketamine infusion therapy to treat Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). PAWS symptoms include depression, anxiety, irritability, sleep disturbances, and impaired cognition. By rapidly creating new neural connections, ketamine therapy dramatically eliminates or reduces these symptoms. PAWS can affect you weeks, months, and even years after you stop using the drug.
It is important to know that Ketamine infusion therapy is not a stand-alone treatment for alcohol and substance abuse. However, KIT can be a vital component of a comprehensive program of recovery, such as 12-step meetings, outpatient or inpatient rehab, intensive psychotherapy, and medical supervision from an addiction medicine specialist or primary care provider.
Ketamine is a very effective treatment for addicts and alcoholics who have already detoxed and are looking for ways to prevent relapse and maintain their sobriety. If you’ve quit, but you’re still plagued by long-term withdrawal symptoms and cravings or if you wish to quit and/or you have failed other detoxification programs, call us to learn more about Ketamine infusion therapy.
1. Dakwar et al A Single Ketamine Infusion Combined With Mindfulness-Based Behavioral Modification to Treat Cocaine Dependence: A Randomized Clinical Trial The American Journal of Psychiatry Nov 2019
2. Dakwar et al A Single Ketamine Infusion Combined With Motivational Enhancement Therapy for Alcohol Use Disorder: A Randomized Midazolam-Controlled Pilot Trial The American Journal of Psychiatry Feb 2020