A low dose of ketamine can help alcoholics stay calm, a study has shown.
Experts at the University of Exeter tested the effects of the illicit party drug on 96 addicts who drank the equivalent of 50 pints of beer per week.
To test the effects of taking ketamine, they were all divided into four separate groups, on top of regular conversation therapy.
Volunteers given ketamine were two and a half times more likely to calm down after six months than placebo addicts.
The results also showed that those receiving the drug, which is also used as a horse tranquilizer, were avoided for an average of 162 days out of 180 days. For comparison, this number was approximately 130 days for placebo groups.
Professor Celia Morgan and colleagues found that patients given ketamine had lower rates of depression and better liver function after six months.
She said: ‘Alcohol can ruin lives … we urgently need new ways to help reduce people.
“We found that controlled, low-dose psychotherapy with ketamine helped people stay away from alcohol for longer than placebo.”
Professor Morgan described the results, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, as “extremely encouraging”.
The graph shows the average percentage of days in the six-month study that were quiet for participants in each of the four groups. Those prescribed ketamine and psychotherapy did not drink 87 percent of the test (162 out of 180 days), then quit 81.7 percent of those given ketamine and alcohol education classes (147 days). Meanwhile, only 77.2 percent of 6 months (139 days) of placebo medication and therapy were quiet, and those in placebo drug and alcohol education classes did not drink alcohol for 70 percent (126 days) of the study.
Three-quarters return to heavy drinking within six months, according to statistics.
He added: “Since the onset of the epidemic, the number of alcohol-related deaths has doubled, so new treatments are urgently needed.”
Treatment of Alcoholism from Party Drugs: Everything You Need to Know About Ketamine
Ketamine is a powerful general anesthetic used to prevent humans and animals from experiencing pain during surgery.
As it began to be used as a party drug in the late 2000’s, people resorted to it for a more intense experience.
What are the side effects?
Ketamine can cause muscle damage and paralysis.
It can also lead people to experience distortions of reality, which many call the ‘K-hole’.
It happens when people believe that they have spoken to God or a higher power, which can lead them to crave that experience.
Ketamine can make people unable to walk, experience delusions, or panic attacks, delusions, and memory loss.
Regular users can seriously damage their bladder, which may need to be surgically removed.
Other risks include increased heart rate and blood pressure.
Muscle paralysis can leave people vulnerable to self-injury, while underestimating any damage when the pain is not felt properly.
Many claim that ketamine withdrawal is worse than any other drug, and some even consider suicide out of frustration.
If you have suicidal thoughts, contact the Samaritans Here.
How is it taken and what is the law around it?
Ketamine is a liquid for medical use, but the ‘road’ drug is usually granular, white powder, which costs about £ 20 per gram.
As a Class B drug in the UK, possession of ketamine can result in up to five years in prison, while supplying it can carry up to 14 years in prison.
In both cases, there is the potential for people to face unlimited fines.
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One patient said the combination of therapy and ketamine was a ‘life-changing and mind-changing experience’.
This study was the first of its kind to test whether ketamine therapy could prevent people from immediately returning to heavy alcohol consumption.
Half of the volunteers received psychological treatment, while the remaining participants were given alcohol education classes.
Volunteers were given a dose of 0.8 mg / kg via intravenous infusion – equivalent to about 56 mg in total.
For comparison, party goers who end up in a ‘K hole’ usually take doses above 200 mg.
Those who were given ketamine and therapy drank more than the recommended guidelines in five days over an average period of six months.
After monitoring volunteers for six months, the team found in a 180-day study that drug users were 10.1 percent calmer than those who did not.
The study found that those who received ketamine and therapy had the lowest rates of recurrence, with 61.9 percent of people in the six-month study drinking alcohol.
The rates were higher among those taking therapy alone (66.7 percent), ketamine and alcohol class (68.2 percent) and alcohol class (78.3 percent).
No serious side effects have been reported after taking the drug.
But he said a major trial was needed to confirm his findings.
And the team said they ‘definitely don’t advocate taking ketamine outside of clinical context’, as it comes with ‘obvious risks’.
The team believes that ketamine – a B-class drug in the UK – works by inducing a ‘feeling out of your body’.
According to the researchers, this triggered an ‘observational condition’ in some patients, as described in ‘Mindfulness’.
It can help patients ‘take a step back and consider thoughts and feelings,’ he said.
But the researchers did not provide data on patients outside the six-month window, so it is unclear whether the treatments worked over a long period of time.
According to the charity Alcohol Change UK, there are more than 600,000 alcoholics in England alone.
The NHS advises people to drink no more than 14 units per week on a regular basis. Those in the study drank an average of 125 units per week, nine times the recommended maximum.
In addition to helping drinkers achieve a higher success rate by staying calm, other studies have shown that ketamine can be used in the fight against depression.
The US Food and Drug Administration has already approved nasal spray reforming, a drug called ascetamine, for people who have not benefited from other antidepressant drugs.
The Exeter team argues that ketamine may support alcoholics who try to abstain from alcohol by “temporarily reducing the symptoms of depression during high-risk relapse periods.”
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