Ketamine therapy could treat alcohol addiction

by Beatrice Credi - 2017.01.25
Ketamine therapy could treat alcohol addiction
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Treatments to help people stop drinking alcohol have been shown to be limited in their effectiveness, and people often return to drinking after only a short time of being sober. But now, a radical therapy could treat alcohol addiction. It involves the ketamine that could help overcome alcohol addiction by “erasing” drink-related memories. KARE is a new and innovative multi-disciplinary project, and stands for “Ketamine for reduction of Alcoholic Relapse”. This clinical trial explores the combined use of psychological therapy and a low dose of ketamine as a possible treatment for alcoholism. KARE is a multi-site project running in both the South West of England as well as London. Using a recreational drug to treat addiction may sound counterintuitive, but the researchers say there is a growing body of research suggesting that ketamine can be used to disrupt harmful patterns of behaviour. Crucially, ketamine can disrupt the formation of memories, and scientists believe that this property could be harnessed to over-write the memories that drive addiction and harmful patterns of behaviour.

Published in Alcoholism.
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