Ketamine is commonly used for general anesthesia. However, sub-anesthetic doses of ketamine can create psychedelic experiences. This characteristic of Ketamine Therapy makes it useful agent in the treatment of addiction to substances such as heroin.
Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles, led by Dr. Steven L. Mandel, provides ketamine infusion treatments to patients in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Orange County, California, and surrounding communities.
Research Supports the Use of Ketamine to Fight Heroin Addiction
Research studies have revealed that psychotherapy assisted by ketamine could help in the effective treatment of heroin addiction.
According to a 2007 study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, research was undertaken to assess if adding a psychedelic experience to psychotherapy offered a one-time spike in the treatment or if administering ketamine in an on-going manner during psychotherapy would improve the effectiveness of the treatment.
Lead researcher Krupitsky and his team offered an initial ketamine-assisted psychotherapy session to 59 heroin-addicted inpatients from the Leningrad Regional Center of Addictions.
Krupitsky points out that prior to the initial ketamine session patients received 5 hours of psychotherapy centered on their addictions in preparation for the ketamine session. After the ketamine session, they again received 5 hours of psychotherapy to enable them to interpret their experience.
The duration of the ketamine-assisted psychotherapy session itself was around 1.5 to 2 hours. Following their first ketamine session, about 50 percent of the participants received two more ketamine-assisted therapy sessions, while the other 50 percent received 2 psychotherapy sessions unassisted by ketamine.
In a one-year follow up with the participants, Krupitsky and his team identified that half of those who received multiple ketamine-assisted therapy sessions abstained from their addictions relative to 22.2 percent of those who received only one ketamine-assisted therapy session.
In comparison, traditional techniques for the treatment of heroin addiction, such as ketamine-assisted therapy, usually have the rates of abstinence at around 20 percent.
How Ketamine Therapy Helps in Psychotherapy
A vital question here is how the use of a psychedelic substance such as ketamine assists psychotherapy. Krupitsky and his team point out that individuals have reported experiencing derealization, extreme depersonalization associated with intense fear or euphoria, experiencing turbulent or swift travel through tunnels or corridors, and feeling very connected to God or a supreme power.
The patient undergoes such transformative experiences which often commence with acute fear, including the fear of the world ending or an apocalypse, and frequently end with an experience of rebirth characterized by a positive experience of loss of ego or boundlessness, or rebirth associated with oceanic.
The team further elaborates that the experience with Ketamine Therapy is in some ways similar to near-death experiences. Ketamine-induced experiences may create a definite shift in the participant’s comprehension of life’s meaning, life purposes, and spiritual development by using mechanism akin to those at work in near-death experiences.
There is ongoing research at Yale and Columbia University in the US, and the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom to understand more about the advantages of Ketamine Infusion Therapy for the treatment of substance abuse disorders.
Ketamine has unique attributes and rapid action as an antidepressant. Patients frequently experience an improvement in their state in a matter of only hours or days.
This characteristic of ketamine could make it an excellent solution in the treatment of both active and recovering drug addicts who may be experiencing depression symptoms immediately after stopping drug use. Dr. Steven L. Mandel receives patients from Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Orange County, California, and nearby areas for ketamine infusion treatments.
For more information about Ketamine Infusion Therapy treatments for depression, bipolar, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), fibromyalgia, pain syndromes and other conditions contact us at Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles in Southern California (Orange County) by clicking here or calling 310-270-0625.