Ketamine could help treat alcohol addiction but there is a catch

The popular drug ketamine is currently undergoing a whole new rebranding scenario. This drug is used majorly for the power it houses to give its user a distinctive trance-like experience. However, this hallucinogenic has been attracting a lot of attention with its potential for the treatment of conditions such as depression, PTSD, & other known psychological issues.

Apart from this, Ketamine might come with a counterintuitive benefit as well. When used properly, in the future, this drug can help treat issues such as alcohol addiction. To sum it up exactly, this drug can help keep you away from alcoholism for years to come. This study was conducted over rats. However, this finding doesn’t come without a catch. The positive effects of this drug are applicable only to men. This research published over the popular journal named eNeuro showcases that the drug can curb the desire for alcohol consumption in the male rats. The drug also helped reduce the overall alcohol intake among the rats for 3 consecutive weeks post end of the treatment cycle.

According to Mohamed Kabbaj, the Neuroscience professor at the Florida State University & the study’s author, three weeks when counted in rat years is actually a long duration. If similar instances can be seen with humans, one can imagine that post the short-term treatment with the use of ketamine; the alcoholics might cease to intake alcohol for years to come.

As per a survey conducted in the year 2017, alcohol abuse is a disorder that tends to affect around 14.1 million people. These treatment options are currently limited to support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. However, as of now, there is no sure shot guarantee that these treatments might work for a particular individual. If the drug works, ketamine can help change the scenario of substance abuse that has been the causal factor for countless deaths and addiction over the years.

Even though the study was conducted over the rats, human clinical trials are currently underway. Recently, Ketamine was successfully approved by the FDA in order to serve as a form of treatment for depression. So, if the clinical trials prove successful, ketamine can be used as a treatment methodology for alcoholism in the future. However, the catch that it can only help males and not females could be a major disappointment. In fact, Ketamine has been known to act opposite in females. While it treats alcohol addiction, it could lead to a whole new addiction for ketamine.

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