Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Addiction Treatment
Treatment for substance abuse disorders calls for an individualized treatment approach. Ketamine helps patients regain a sense of control over their physical and emotional symptoms. Ketamine works to provide rapid relief from cravings and withdrawal symptoms, making them an important part of the recovery process.
Ketamine is a powerful anesthetic and pain-reliever used for decades in hospitals around the globe. Recent research in the last few decades indicates that ketamine can affect the central nervous system by interacting with the n-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor. This allows it to help reduce symptoms of conditions like substance abuse disorder.
Ketamine for Alcohol Addiction
In a recent study of two groups, 111 people who volunteered for a ketamine-assisted psychotherapy session after detoxification and a 3-month residential treatment program, 1-year abstinence rates were at an amazing 65.8%.
Compare that to the other 100 people who did not receive a ketamine-assisted psychotherapy session whose abstinence rate after 1 year was a low 24%.
Effects on Cocaine Use
Two released research studies have examined the effectiveness of ketamine for cocaine use disorder.
Following the first infusion (either 0.41 mg/kg ketamine or 2 mg lorazepam), they found that ketamine increased motivation to quit cocaine over lorazepam (median score of 0.15 vs. 3.6, p = 0.012) and reduced cocaine craving on the VAS by a mean of 168 mm (a 60% change, p = 0.012).
The post-lorazepam URICA scores were significantly improved when ketamine was received first (median change from baseline: 1.1 vs. 3.28, p = 0.047), indicative of a persistent effect of 0.41 mg/kg ketamine at 48 h; this may explain the lack of significant change in URICA and VAS scores following the 0.71 mg/kg ketamine infusion.
Although there was no placebo comparison, there was a significant reduction in frequency (22 days of use/28 days at baseline vs. 5/28 days at 4 week follow-up, p = 0.012) and amount of cocaine use in the follow-up period ($149.30/use day at baseline vs. $10.50/use day at 4 week follow-up, p < 0.001).
Effects on Opioid Use Disorder and Opioid Withdrawal
In another recent study performed on those struggling with opioid addiction, participants were randomized to 1 or 3 sessions of ketamine (2 mg/kg IM, given at 1-month intervals).
They found that 50% of subjects receiving multiple ketamine treatments were abstinent at 1-year follow-up, compared to 22% of single-session treatments (p < 0.05).
They also noted significantly greater reductions in heroin craving in the repeated treatment group as compared to the single treatment group. You can read the results for all 3 studies at frontiers for psychiatry.
How Does Ketamine Help?
Addiction is the result of the brain and body consuming a substance and the ensuing chemical reaction. Over time, dependency forms, and the bliss that you felt when consuming a substance can become harder and harder to maintain, causing you to turn to higher doses.
With ketamine binding to the NMDA receptors, it can help block signals from being sent to the brain which gives the brain an opportunity to reset old connections and forge new ones.
Request Your Consultation Today
Nova Health Recovery’s innovative use of ketamine treatment for addiction can help you or a loved one who may be struggling with substance abuse. Ketamine is a rapid-acting, effective new treatment that we utilize to help patients along their recovery process. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and find out if ketamine is a good fit for you.