Drugs Health Medical

Ketamine plus therapy can help treat alcohol use disorder


H Q Team

December 14, 2022: Scientists from the University of Exeter suggest the drug Ketamine to treat alcohol use disorder. The researchers are doing a phase 3 clinical trial to determine its efficacy in treating this affliction.

Researchers from England are launching a phase 3 clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of using the drug Ketamine( a drug used as an anaesthetic in humans and animals) to help treat alcohol use disorder.

The trial will involve 280 individuals with severe alcohol use disorder in seven sites across the United Kingdom.

The team had earlier in January published research that suggested low doses of ketamine, combined with psychological therapy, can help people with severe alcohol use disorder (AUD) stay sober longer.

The phase 3 clinical trial would examine whether a low dose of ketamine prevents relapse when used with therapy.

“Alcoholism can destroy lives, and we urgently need new ways to help people cut down,” said Celia Morgan, the study’s lead author and a professor of psychopharmacology at Exeter. “We found that controlled, low doses of ketamine combined with psychological therapy can help people stay off alcohol for longer than placebo.”

“This is extremely encouraging, as we normally see three out of every four people returning to heavy drinking within 6 months of quitting alcohol, so this result represents a great improvement,” Morgan said.

The participants included 96 people with previous alcohol use issues who weren’t using alcohol at the time.

The participants who had ketamine combined with therapy stayed completely sober for 162 of 180 days in the ensuing 6 months. The 87 percent abstinence was “significantly higher than any of the other groups,” researchers said.

Researchers reported the group was more than 2.5 times more likely to remain completely abstinent at the trial’s end than participants on a placebo.

Ketamine with therapy more effective

Ketamine is increasingly being explored as a treatment for depression. Ketamine induces disassociation and pain relief.

Ketamine alongside therapy, can act as an antidepressant and helps alleviate depression that is associated with alcoholism. Low to moderate doses of ketamine can change our thought patterns or block the triggers for relapse.

It has to be kept in mind that chemically-induced sobriety is not known to work in the long term. Counselling and therapy are needed as longer-term stabilizers. Alcohol disorder treatment works only when the patient is willing to work continuously through recovery and beyond.

ketamine can work in the brain’s regions damaged by alcohol to helping grow neurons to heal a person’s brain. It is important that the right doses be administered along with therapy.

Alcohol kills 3 million worldwide every year. It means every 10 seconds, a human being dies because of alcohol. Alcohol consumption is a causal factor in more than 200 diseases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source says heavy alcohol use causes 95,000 deaths annually in the United States. The agency recommends that men should not have more than two drinks a day and women should not drink more than one.

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