The results of a new clinical trial that have been published in The American Journal of Psychiatry have given hope that ketamine can be used as a treatment for cocaine addiction. In the trial it has been found that even just a single dose of ketamine can help people who are struggling with cocaine dependency.
Ketamine has long been used as an anesthetic, but more recently researchers have been interested in how the drug can be utilized in other areas, such as a treatment for combating depression, coping with chronic pain, alcohol dependency and narcotic addiction. In March 2019, the FDA approved a nasal-spray form of ketamine, which has been branded as esketamine. Esketamine can only be administered under controlled medical supervision.
Study Was Performed Using a Group of People Seeking Help with Their Cocaine Dependency
In this study, which was conducted by researchers at the Columbia University Department of Psychology, 55 individuals who were seeking help with cocaine dependency were randomly split into two groups. One group was administered an intravenous ketamine infusion, while the other (control) group was administered the sedative midazolam. Individuals were not told into which group they had been placed. In addition, both groups were asked to complete five weeks of mindfulness-based therapy aimed at preventing relapse.
As a result of the study, it was found that the individuals who received the ketamine infusion tended to experience lower levels of cocaine cravings. Around fifty percent of the participants who received ketamine maintained abstinence over the final two weeks of the program, compared to one in ten who received midazolam.
People Who Received Ketamine Found it Easier to Abstain from Cocaine Than Those Who Didn’t
After six months, it was found that 44 percent of those who received ketamine had maintained their abstinence from cocaine, while none of those who received midazolam had managed to do so.
The researchers wrote: “Ketamine was effective at providing individuals already engaged in mindfulness-based behavioral modification with significantly greater odds of maintaining abstinence, substantial protection from relapse and craving, and lower likelihood of cocaine use. These sustained benefits, in some cases lasting several months, suggest the potential of ketamine for effecting long-term behavioral changes.”
If you want to learn more about ketamine infusion therapy, and how it can help in areas such as depression and chronic pain, then please contact us here at the Ketamine Institute of Michigan. We can be contacted by phone at (855) 538-2646, or you can use the online contact form that’s available on our website.