The treatments currently available for alcoholism are not particularly effective, especially when it comes to the long-term. There are currently are three approved medications on the market that claim to treat alcoholism, however they do not cure it. Additionally, those who utilize inpatient rehabilitation may find that they are able to quit drinking while in the program, but are not able to maintain their sobriety once they return home. 
It is believed that the currently available treatments for depression are ineffective because they do not address the positive memories that drinking alcohol has formed in their brain. The memories that make people want to drink again. Familiar environment triggers or cues become ingrained in the memories of those addicted and, subsequently, causes them to return to the learned behavior of drinking. 
Scientists have looked at this correlation and have found evidence that ketamine may be an effective treatment option for alcoholism. Ketamine works by blocking the receptor NMDA, which is required for the formation of memories. By using ketamine, scientists found that they can 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 the initial dose. 
The use of ketamine as a treatment option for alcoholism can be added to the growing list of positive uses for this drug. Studies have already demonstrated that ketamine is effective in treating a plethora of other disorders to include depression and other psychiatric conditions, chronic pain, and migraine headaches—just 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. 
While the use of ketamine for alcoholism is far from being fully understood or available as a treatment, the hope is there. Stay tuned in to our blog and social media channels for more information about ketamine research and development. The more we understand about this drug, it seems, the more hope is being spread to people suffering from dark and depressing conditions.

Contact South Sound Health & Wellness

South Sound Health & Wellness is the leading ketamine center in the Tacoma, WA area. We offer ketamine infusions for the treatment of depression, anxiety, mood disorders, and chronic pain conditions, including migraine headaches. If you or a loved one are suffering, complete the form below to request a free consultation. Our clinicians are happy to answer questions about ketamine and how it works to treat depression and more