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As we enter the holiday season time of the year, there are more occasions to consume alcohol for all of us. However, many people wrestle with the lure of alcohol and the need to have it – and a lot of it – every day. For this 12.7 percent of the adult population, hope may be on the horizon to help contend with this challenge. And it’s coming from researchers right here in the state of Florida.
Florida State University (FSU) News announced this potential breakthrough. A team based in the lab there has been studying this possibility for the last three years. These neuroscientists published the results of their work recently. The findings suggest that a particular drug may limit the desire to drink alcohol. This substance is ketamine.
What did the researchers uncover up to this point? Experimenting with lab rats, the team discovered that ketamine curbed alcohol use by 70 to 80 percent. These positive effects lasted for three weeks after treatment ended.
The leader of the study group addressed the timeframe issue. “Three weeks is a long time in a rat’s life,” he noted. “If a similar thing happened in humans, one could image that after a short treatment with ketamine, alcoholic patients would cease alcohol intake for a couple of years. That would be a great achievement.”
Interesting differences emerged in the population of the subjects in this study. They did not all demonstrate the same response. Males reacted as reported, that is, they reduced their alcohol intake. But that was not so for female rats, who increased their intake. According to results published on enero.org, the data obtained “suggest that ketamine as a treatment for AUD [alcohol use disorder] may benefit male but not female subjects and warrants further investigation before use as a therapeutic agent.”
The study head considered this disparity curious. He agreed that further work needs to be done to understand this discrepancy. Yet, he referred to the outcomes as “substantial” and as groundwork for the future. As reported, he “hoped the findings could one day pave the way for a medication.”
As noted in the link attached to the earlier reference on ketamine, this substance has a history and issues of its own. The health care industry has been using it as an anesthetic since the 1960’s. However, it made a recent splash in the behavioral health arena. In March 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ketamine to help treat patients suffering from depression; for this purpose, it is used in the form of a nasal spray.
There’s another angle about ketamine to note. It too raises the specter of being an addictive substance. On the website of American Addiction Centers, content about it asks the question “Can Ketamine Be Abused and Cause Withdrawal?” In fact, this posting mentions that ketamine is a Schedule III controlled substance. And that’s because of its potential for addiction and abuse.
Huh, are you thinking what we are? A Ph.D. student on this project weighs in on this angle. She says, “Surprising that you would use a drug like ketamine, an addictive drug to treat alcohol addiction.” She adds, “But, if it works, I think it’s promising.”
People struggling with drug and alcohol addiction have a trusted source to turn to for help in south Florida. Recovery First proudly bears two industry gold seals of approval. One is from The Joint Commission; the other comes by way of the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). These dual honors ensure that clients receive professional treatment by qualified practitioners who meet the highest standards.
Clients enrolled in the rehab’s facility in Fort Lauderdale and two in Hollywood get just the services they need. That’s because this premier organization offers a full continuum of care. They may start with medically-monitored detox and residential treatment. Or care may involve partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient treatment. It’s all here. As a result, clients follow a treatment plan that best suits them.
Are you ready to learn more and to get help for yourself or a loved one? Visit the admissions tab to get started. At Recovery First, Your Recovery Begins Here.
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