The Grapevine

Can Ketamine Lessen Alcohol Drinking?

These days, drinking alcohol in excess is a widespread problem, oftentimes relegated by a culture that demands alcohol in almost any occasion. And while drinking alcohol every now and then is good, too much of it can be problematic, which can lead to an addiction that can be very hard to kick for a lot of people.

However, in a new report released Tuesday in the scientific journal Nature Communications, a dose of ketamine may help cut down problematic drinking. Per the report, the triggers that usually pull people to drinking may be weakened by the hallucinogenic drug,

Cutting Down Drinking

According to the new study, the effect of ketamine on excessive alcohol drinking is modest at best. Still, addiction researcher David Epstein of the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Baltimore believes that the results “might be a time when small effects tell a big story.”

“If a seemingly small one-time experience in a lab produces any effects that are detectable later in real life, the data are probably pointing toward something important,” Epstein said.

Per the study, the idea is that, in a way, addiction is some type of memory disorder and that it results in people associating either a drug or alcohol to the good feelings that they previously brought. Furthermore, certain cues in the world usually trigger these memories or cravings, and can be something as simple as the smell of beer.

“We’re trying to break down those memories to stop that process from happening, and to stop people from relapsing,” Ravi Das, study co-author and a psychopharmacologist at University College London, said.

Can A Drug Help?

According to previous studies, ketamine has been shown to help fight severe depression. In relation to helping cut excessive drinking, the drug is being tested mainly because one of its key effects is to interfere with a molecule called NMDA, which is involved in reforming memories after they are called up.

Per the study, participants who were given doses of the drug had cut their drinking by half in nine months. However, it’s unsure whether this change in behavior is for the long-term. As such, more research is needed.

Alcohol Addiction If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol addiction, here are the top 7 alcohol addiction self-help books on Amazon. Лечение Наркомании / Pixabay