After the discovery that ketamine is a potent N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamatergic receptor antagonist, which is an effective treatment of severe depression, researchers at the University of Virginia reviewed 21 years’ worth of data and determined that “these results suggest that ketamine may facilitate abstinence across multiple substances of abuse and warrants broader investigation in addiction treatment.” Unfortunately, most substance abuse disorders cannot be treated with drugs like antidepressants. However, ketamine targets a different area of the brain, which is why these researchers wanted to gather more data on ketamine as a treatment. The ketamine trials that they studied showed improvements in craving, motivation, and decreased use rates among drug users. And some patients were able to stay clean for up to two years after a single infusion. These studies took place in small groups and were not placebo-controlled, so more research needs to be done on ketamine as an effective treatment for substance abuse. However, these results are very promising, and the researchers highlight the urgent need for further research. To read the complete study, click the button below.
For those who thought their major depression, substance abuse, or other mental illness couldn’t be helped, ketamine could be life-saving. Many starts to feel relief from their symptoms after their first treatment. If you would like to learn more about ketamine as a treatment for you or a loved one, contact us for a psychiatric consultation today. We look forward to helping you take back your life.