Ketamine Therapy for Addiction

There are many levels of care used today to treat the disease of addiction in addition to mental illnesses. The crisis of substance abuse especially is still as prevalent as ever. A striking example is the current epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose, which poses a significant worldwide health issue and imposes a substantial social and economic burden.

The state of Florida is facing a grave issue of addiction. The prevalence of drug abuse and drug-related fatalities is greater than the national average. Shockingly, drug use claims more lives in Florida than gun violence or car accidents, with an estimated 3,000 deaths annually. It is concerning to note that around 8% of the state’s population, which amounts to approximately 1.5 million people, are using illegal drugs at any given time. Moreover, within the last year, over 410,000 individuals in Florida have struggled with drug dependence.

At Ambrosia Treatment Center in West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie, and Singer Island, Florida, ketamine therapy for addiction is used as an add-on service to complement our inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment programs. Our addiction specialists utilize ketamine therapy to aid in the recovery from substance abuse.

We’ve found that this evidence-based treatment, while previously deemed controversial. In addition to aiding in the recovery from addiction, ketamine can effectively address symptoms of the underlying mental health disorders that can contribute to negative substance use patterns. In a safe and comfortable environment, clients can look introspectively and develop healthier behaviors.

It’s challenging for people struggling to ask for help, let alone figure out what treatments are best for them and their needs. There is no one-size-fits-all care approach, as everyone and their circumstances are unique. That’s why we believe that recovering from substance abuse disorders necessitates a tailored approach for every patient.

If you’re looking to find the right form of treatment for you or a loved one, ketamine therapy for addiction at Ambrosia Treatment Center in South Florida may be right for you.

The field of science is constantly exploring new ways to utilize traditional medicinal substances for addiction recovery. One such substance that has gained attention is ketamine, a dissociative anesthetic drug that acts on the central nervous system.

Ketamine, a synthetic substance, was initially discovered and widely utilized as an anesthetic in the 1960s. Since 1970, the FDA approved its medical use to be used as an intravenous (IV) anesthetic for sedation in medical settings. It’s also utilized as a veterinary medicine and animal tranquilizer. However, it has gained popularity as a party drug due to the euphoric and disconnected feeling it provides to the user. Ketamine has various effects on the body, such as increasing heart rate and blood flow, relaxing airways, and increasing muscle tone.

For some time, Ketamine, also known as “Special K” was heavily abused on the streets. Today, professionals have recently been utilizing Ketamine safely and effectively, particularly as an anesthetic in the emergency room, due to its minimal impact on the respiratory system. Moreover, Ketamine has emerged as a prominent option for the treatment of mental health disorders and addiction. When administered at lower doses than those required for anesthesia, Ketamine has shown positive effects on the brain. This aspect has been the focal point of clinical studies and research conducted by experts.

Despite its recreational use, the World Health Organization (WHO) considers ketamine an “essential medicine” and one of the safest and most effective drugs. WHO’s Assistant Director General for Health Systems and Innovation, Marie-Paule Kieny emphasizes that the medical benefits of ketamine outweigh the potential harm from its recreational use.

Ketamine therapy works to alleviate the physical and emotional burdens of the patient, helping them take steps toward a healthier lifestyle. Through ketamine infusion therapy, we can help reduce or eliminate physical cravings and withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and other substances.

In addition to aiding in the recovery from substance abuse, ketamine can effectively address symptoms of the underlying mental health disorders that can contribute to negative substance use patterns. In a safe and comfortable environment, clients can look introspectively and develop healthier patterns of behavior.

What Are The Effects of Ketamine On the Brain and Body?

ketamine therapy for addiction in FloridaResearch conducted on Ketamine has consistently demonstrated its ability to enhance the production of glutamate. Glutamate, a potent neurotransmitter, plays a vital role in the functioning of the brain. Elevated levels of glutamate facilitate the brain’s ability to restructure itself and become more adaptable. Consequently, this leads to the manifestation of antidepressant effects and an overall improvement in mental well-being. Individuals are empowered to overcome previously insurmountable ailments, compulsions, and behaviors.

Ketamine blocks the brain receptor called NMDA, which is effective in treating depressive symptoms and is also required for memory formation. It promotes the growth of new neural connections in the brain, which is essential in the process of learning and forming new memories.

Research has shown in the right circumstances, it can be used as a powerful harm-reduction tool that has the potential to disrupt bad patterns of behavior, specifically those associated with alcohol use disorder (AUD). This is particularly important since there are many environmental factors associated with alcohol abuse, including social settings and drinking associations.

In the context of someone with depression or an alcohol use disorder, the disruption of memory formation could be a positive side effect of ketamine therapy. Sessions can help people be more receptive to new information, and essentially, they can override the memories that drive alcohol use and related behaviors.

In conjunction with traditional therapies, ketamine can help find the underlying root causes of addiction to successfully diagnose and treat the whole person, not just the individual symptoms.

According to Dr. John Krystal from Yale Medicine, the administration of Ketamine triggers reactions within the cortex, facilitating the regeneration of brain connections. Therefore, it is the response to Ketamine, rather than the mere presence of the substance in the body, that accounts for its profound effects. This groundbreaking characteristic positions Ketamine as a revolutionary approach to healing, offering relief to a significant portion of the population who require more than conventional methods can provide.

What Is Ketamine Therapy?

Ketamine therapy is an FDA-approved anesthetic that can induce an altered state of consciousness. At lower doses, it has been shown to help form new neural connections in the brain that can help overcome negative thought patterns and behaviors.

Recovery from substance abuse is different for everyone and requires a personalized approach. One unique option is ketamine therapy, a modern method that’s gaining attention. Ketamine, usually used as an anesthetic, is given at lower doses in this therapy, known as ketamine-assisted psychotherapy or ketamine infusion therapy. Administered in a controlled setting with healthcare professionals in conjunction with other types of therapy, it aims to tap into ketamine’s potential for treating mental health issues.

Ketamine therapy is popular because it provides relief, particularly for severe depression that has not responded well to other treatments. It is, however, not a standalone solution. Instead, it is part of a larger plan to address various aspects of substance abuse and mental health. Continuous research and communication between individuals and their healthcare teams will help refine and expand the role of ketamine therapy in mental health and substance abuse treatment as we learn more.

While it is primarily known for its rapid-acting anti-depressant properties, studies have also shown its potential in reducing problematic alcohol and drug use. Despite limitations in research methodology and the relative newness of the field, early results are promising. Ketamine has been found to effectively prolong abstinence from alcohol and heroin, as well as reduce craving and self-administration of cocaine. However, further randomized controlled trials are necessary to confirm its efficacy. Possible mechanisms by which ketamine may work within addiction include enhancing neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, treating depressive symptoms, blocking drug-related memories, and enhancing psychological therapy efficacy.

Identifying the specific mechanisms by which ketamine exerts its therapeutic effects is crucial for advancing this treatment and may have broader implications for understanding other psychedelic therapies. Overall, while ketamine shows great promise as a treatment for addiction, more research is urgently needed to fully understand its potential.

What are the Effects of Ketamine?

Ketamine affects people differently based on the amount taken. Small doses cause relaxation and pain relief, while larger doses lead to stronger dissociative effects. The duration of its effects, which can range from 15 minutes to several hours, depends on factors like the size of the dose and how it is taken—whether through injection, oral consumption, snorting, or smoking.

The physical effects of ketamine use can include:

  • Sedation
  • Dizziness
  • Clumsiness or poor muscle control (i.e., ataxia)
  • Slurred speech or difficulty speaking (i.e., dysarthria)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unresponsiveness to stimuli
  • Dangerously slow breathing
  • Cardiovascular issues (e.g., high blood pressure, elevated heart rate, palpitations, irregular heart rhythm, chest pain)
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Lower urinary tract issues
  • Muscle stiffening

The mental effects of ketamine use include:

  • Diminished attention
  • Memory loss
  • Hallucinations and dreamlike states
  • Confusion, disorientation
  • Paranoia
  • Unease, anxiety

How Does Ketamine Work to Treat Addiction?

Treating Addiction with Ketamine

It is estimated that 1 in 8 Americans suffer from addiction, with a staggering 21 million currently battling drug addiction. The scope of addiction is vast, encompassing everything from alcohol and tobacco abuse to illegal drugs and gambling. Unfortunately, addiction and substance abuse can have a devastating impact on one’s quality of life and relationships, and in the most severe cases, can even lead to death.

However, Ketamine for addiction offers a unique approach to treatment that sets it apart from other medications and therapies. Unlike traditional treatments that merely mask symptoms, Ketamine targets the root cause of addiction. When used in conjunction with proven therapeutic techniques, Ketamine has the potential to unlock even greater potential for helping people manage their conditions.

When you opt for ketamine infusion therapy, you’ll experience how this unique treatment works to rewire your brain and help overcome addiction. Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic, meaning it separates perception from sensation. In small doses, it alters your brain chemistry in a way that can help reframe negative thought patterns and behaviors.

This interruption in neural signaling produces an almost immediate antidepressant effect and a distinctive shift in awareness and perception. Your mind enters an altered state, like a waking dream, where you can gain a new perspective on your thoughts and behaviors.

In this relaxed state, the therapist helps guide you through the experience and encourages new insights and connections that can help reframe negative patterns of thinking or action. The effects are temporary, but the insights and neural connections formed during the infusion can have lasting benefits.

The ketamine infusion, combined with counseling, helps to strengthen new neural pathways in the brain that support healthy habits and coping skills. Over multiple sessions, these changes help weaken the connections driving addictive behavior, allowing you to build a solid foundation for recovery.

What are the Benefits of Ketamine Infusion Therapy?

Ketamine is a novel treatment option for addiction that aids in sustaining abstinence and reducing addictive behaviors. Since its initial identification, Ketamine has been extensively utilized, misused, and thoroughly researched. Fortunately, due to advancements in medical science and dedicated research, we are gaining a deeper understanding of the numerous advantages that Ketamine provides. It has been scientifically validated that Ketamine is advantageous in addressing diverse mental health disorders, chronic pain, and most recently, addiction.

The employment of Ketamine for addiction represents an innovative approach that frequently integrates established therapeutic methods to assist both men and women in conquering their addiction. Ketamine infusion therapy has demonstrated several potential benefits, particularly in the treatment of certain mental health conditions. The advantages of ketamine therapy include:

  • Rewires the brain’s chemistry
  • Increase mental adaptability
  • Reduce addictive and compulsive Behaviors
  • Maintain Abstinence
  • Release traumatic thoughts
  • Improve overall mental wellness

Ketamine Therapy Applications

Various mental and physical disorders can be treated with the help of Ketamine. These disorders include addiction, anxiety, depression, treatment-resistant depression, OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), and suicidal ideation. Here are some of the other notable advantages associated with ketamine infusion therapy:

Ketamine is known for its rapid-acting antidepressant effects. Individuals with treatment-resistant depression or major depressive disorder may experience a significant reduction in symptoms, often within hours or days after receiving a ketamine infusion.

Ketamine has shown promise in rapidly reducing suicidal thoughts and creativity, providing a quick and crucial intervention for individuals in acute distress.

Ketamine has anxiolytic properties, meaning it can reduce symptoms of anxiety. This can be beneficial for individuals with various anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Some studies suggest that ketamine may have mood-stabilizing effects, helping to manage both depressive and manic symptoms in individuals with bipolar disorder.

Ketamine infusion therapy is often considered when other standard treatments have been ineffective. It provides an alternative for individuals with treatment-resistant depression or other mental health conditions.

Ketamine has analgesic properties and may be used as part of a comprehensive approach to managing chronic pain conditions. It can modulate pain perception and provide relief for certain individuals.

facilitating deeper introspection and self-reflection during psychotherapy sessions. This can be valuable for individuals seeking psychological insights or exploring unresolved issues.

When administered in a controlled medical setting, ketamine infusion therapy is generally well-tolerated, and adverse effects are usually mild and short-lived.

What to Expect During a Ketamine Therapy Session

At Ambrosia Treatment Center, we ensure that each Ketamine treatment session follows FDA regulations and is administered, to achieve optimal results. Our team of professionals closely monitors each session in a comfortable and controlled environment.

During a session, you’ll receive a carefully controlled infusion of ketamine through an IV. As the ketamine enters your bloodstream and crosses the blood-brain barrier, it blocks NMDA receptors in your brain that are involved in communication between neurons.

A full ketamine for addiction course typically involves a series of 10 infusions. While patients will be able to speak and breathe normally during the treatment, they may experience an altered state of mind. It is important to note that most insurance companies do not cover the cost of Ketamine for addiction treatments. Therefore, the cost of Ketamine for addiction may vary per patient. During a ketamine infusion therapy session, here’s what someone can expect:

ketamine therapy for addiction treatment (1)

Before your infusion, your therapist will review your medical history and any medications you are taking to ensure ketamine is appropriate and safe for you. They’ll explain the process and potential side effects so you know what to expect. Have a light meal beforehand and wear comfortable clothing. You may feel drowsy after the infusion, so plan for time to rest.

The infusion itself takes 4 to 6 hours. You’ll sit in a reclining chair, receive an IV, and be monitored by medical staff the entire time. As the ketamine enters your bloodstream, you’ll start to dissociate from your physical surroundings. This is normal and allows the ketamine to work. Many experience visual distortions, feelings of floating, and dream-like states. Your therapist is there to guide you through the experience and help you process your insights.

Once the infusion is complete, the IV is removed, but you’ll be at the clinic for at least 2 more hours as the ketamine effects wear off. You may feel slightly drowsy or spaced out, with impaired coordination or judgment.

For safety, you cannot drive yourself home. Have a trusted friend or family member pick you up. The benefits of ketamine therapy can take time to fully realize. You may notice improved mood, decreased cravings, new perspectives on life experiences, and enhanced feelings of connection in the days and weeks following an infusion. Talk therapy sessions with your therapist, in conjunction with the ketamine treatments, help to reinforce and build upon the progress made during each infusion.

Ketamine therapy can be an intense yet profoundly healing experience. While the dissociative effects may be strange, your therapist’s guidance helps you feel supported and gain insights. Be open to the process—ketamine allows access to parts of your mind that talk therapy alone often can’t reach. With an experienced ketamine clinic and therapist, infusion therapy can be very safe and effective at treating addiction and other mental health conditions.

Is Ketamine Therapy for Addiction Covered By Insurance?

Whether insurance covers ketamine therapy for addiction depends on your specific insurance provider and policy. Some plans may include coverage for ketamine therapy, while others may not. It’s best to contact your insurance provider directly and inquire about coverage for the specific treatments you’re considering.

Keep in mind that insurance coverage for ketamine therapy can change, so it’s a good practice to check with your provider regularly for the most current information. Staying informed about coverage details ensures you have up-to-date information when deciding on addiction treatment options.

Discover a Breakthrough Solution With Ketamine Therapy for Addiction

Discover transformative change with ketamine therapy for addiction at Ambrosia Treatment Center. If you or a loved one seeks a breakthrough solution in the journey to recovery, explore the possibilities of ketamine therapy with our experienced team. Ambrosia Treatment Center is dedicated to providing compassionate care on your path to healing. Take the first step toward a brighter future by contacting us today. Experience hope and healing!
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