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Is Using Ketamine to Treat Alcoholism Safe?

Is Using Ketamine to Treat Alcoholism Safe?

Is Using Ketamine to Treat Alcoholism Safe?

Ketamine is an anesthetic that has been used for its sedative effects in medical settings since the ‘70s.

The drug is used by veterinarians during surgical procedures, but it can and has also been used on humans.1 New studies are showing that ketamine may be an effective approach to treating issues including depression and alcoholism. So, how effective is this treatment?

The Emergence of Ketamine for Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment

  A recent study showed that one dose of ketamine altered a molecule within the brain called NMDA, which is a molecule that helps in memories. By altering the performance of this molecule, ketamine was shown to reduce alcohol craving in some study subjects by breaking the routine of memories that can reinforce cravings for alcohol.2

More studies must be done to truly evaluate the efficacy of using ketamine to treat alcoholism, and this drug has its own dangers that may negate any positive effects of using ketamine for alcohol use disorder treatment.

The Dangers of Ketamine and Addiction Treatment

  Though ketamine is a drug used in medical settings, it’s not entirely safe. Like many other drugs, it carries dangers in higher or more frequent doses. Users may run the risk of ketamine dependency and ketamine addiction. The mood and memory altering drug can be highly addictive, and high doses of the drug may cause hallucinations, distress, and other negative effects. Additionally, the memory-altering effects of ketamine use may cause long-term memory challenges with users. 3

Alternatives of Using ketamine to Treat Alcoholism

  At Banyan Treatment Centers Boca Raton, we know that there is no miracle medication, drug, or technique for treating addiction. Effective treatment must be multifaceted to address the numerous causes and factors of addiction or alcohol use disorder. It starts with alcohol detox in Boca Raton and continues to inpatient treatment therapies that will help patients learn long-lasting habits of sobriety and health.

Getting sober from alcohol use disorder starts by taking a time-tested approach to recovery. Radical new medications or drugs to treat addiction cannot replace the effective approach of inpatient detoxification and alcoholism treatment. We help patients build lasting sobriety and we can help you recover.

Call 888-280-4763 to learn more about our programs at Banyan Boca.


  1. Psychology Today - What Is Ketamine And Should It Be Used For Addiction?
  2. Science News - A dose of ketamine could lessen the lure of alcohol
  3. Science Direct - Ketamine abuse potential and use disorder

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Is Using Ketamine to Treat Alcoholism Safe?
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