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Ketamine and psychotherapy can help alcoholics

by Ties Inc.

2022-01-18-Ketamine and psychotherapy can help alcoholics

Heavy drinkers stayed away from alcohol longer when treated with low doses of ketamine and psychological therapy, a study finds. University of Exeter academics said the combination prevented people from drinking heavily again soon.

The university said it is working with the National Health Service (NHS) to look at how the treatment can be offered to patients. Ketamine is a class B drug that is illegal to use recreationally.
Health experts and academics in Devon are now looking at how psychotherapy can be delivered to patients. Prof Celia Morgan, from the University of Exeter: “Ketamine has an effect within hours where antidepressants take two weeks to work. However, the effects are not long-lasting.”

Therapy in combination with ketamine

Administration of low doses of ketamine in combination with therapy may prolong the effects. It makes the treatment more expensive initially, but if the effect is long lasting it is a huge cost saver for the NHS.

De study included 96 people with alcohol problems who were abstaining at the time of the trial. The participants drank every day and, on average, consumed the equivalent of 50 pints of strong beer per week (125 units). The team found that people who received ketamine in combination with therapy remained completely sober for 162 of 180 days over the six-month follow-up period, representing an 87% abstinence rate. The study is published in The American Journal of Psychiatry. The UK's first ketamine-assisted psychotherapy clinic opened in Bristol in March 2021.

Read more bbc.com (Source, EN)

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