Ketamine infusion therapy is gaining more widespread acceptance. It’s a fast-acting and effective treatment for depression as well as other mental disorders. A single dose can alleviate depressive symptoms within an hour, which makes it the fastest treatment out there currently.
Now researchers believe it can be used to treat addiction. People with anxiety and depression, often also suffer from substance addiction, typically due to patients trying to self-medicate.
Current treatments for addiction to alcohol and drugs are modest at best. Over three-quarters of people return to drinking after 6 months. Doctors have been seeking more effective treatment options for years. Many patients with anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses self-medicate with alcohol or opioids. While this might initially work ultimately it creates another serious medical issue. Treating multiple mental illnesses at once can be challenging, but ketamine treatments might change that.
Ketamine’s fast-acting effect is key in its usefulness in helping addicts. People often experience depression after quitting alcohol or drugs, which only pushes them into relapse. Doctors have known for close to 30 years that ketamine could be helpful in helping addicts, but due to its popularity as a party drug, it wasn’t used much until now. But nearly 66% of people remain alcohol-free for a year after receiving ketamine therapy compared to only 24% with traditional treatment.
A common worry people have about ketamine infusion therapy is the risk of developing an addiction to it. Ketamine is a popular party drug thanks to the dissociative effect it creates. However, when used in a medical setting, there is little risk of developing an addiction to ketamine. The doses given are small and so far there hasn’t been evidence of the treatment causing short-term or long-term dependency.
If you think ketamine infusions may be the right treatment for you or want to learn more about them, feel free to contact us!
Since 2003, the Delray Center for Healing has provided exceptional psychiatric and therapeutic care for mental health, eating, and substance use disorders. To learn more about our philosophy and treatment approach, download our free e-book, “Psychiatry Redefined,” written by our founder and medical director, Raul J. Rodriguez, MD.