An average of 95,000 people die each year from alcohol-related causes.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), an average of 95,000 people die each year from alcohol-related causes, making it the third most preventable death after tobacco use and poor diet. Sadly, these deaths do not just include drinkers; alcohol is to blame for 28% of all driving fatalities in the United States.
You may know someone who struggles with problem drinking or alcohol addiction, or you may be dealing with it yourself. If you or your loved one have tried traditional methods to stop drinking and were unsuccessful, Transcend Health Solutions offers ketamine infusions. When combined with therapy, it can rewire the brain to help you change your behavior.
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell when someone is just having a good time versus when their drinking becomes problematic.
The NIAAA established measurements for a standard drink are:
The NIAA recommends men have no more than two standard drinks per day, while women have one.
A problem drinker has a pattern of excessive drinking that ends in negative consequences, but they are not dependent on it the way someone with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) is. AUD is also known as alcohol abuse and alcohol misuse.
Problem drinkers may suffer with the following:
Problem drinking creates drinking patterns that can lead to physical dependence on alcohol, often contributing to an AUD.
There are some crucial questions to ask about your alcohol consumption levels to determine if you or a loved one is a problem drinker.
If you answer yes to many of these questions, you may be a problem drinker. If you can respond yes to all these questions, and your alcohol dependence has intensified to the point that you need a drink as soon as you wake up to recover from a hangover or steady your nerves, you may already have an AUD.
Healthy drinking habits generally don’t lead to adverse effects on the body, but continuous usage over time can contribute to the following medical problems:
Traditional alcoholism treatments are based around complete alcohol abstinence by avoiding alcoholic beverages and the situations that trigger alcohol consumption. Unfortunately, this simply isn’t possible for many, as alcohol is a ubiquitous part of many social functions in our society, such as sporting events, Christmas parties, happy hour after work with coworkers, and more.
When individuals suffering from AUD relapse, they often blame themselves, and their guilt leads them to continue to drink more. This is problematic since nearly 90% of people in treatment for alcoholism suffer a relapse within the first four years of their program.
Research suggests that ketamine can curb excessive drinking, whether you are a problem drinker or suffering from an AUD. In a limited series of studies, participants have reported a higher abstinence rate, indicating they are less likely to relapse, spend fewer days drinking, and have fewer days of heavy drinking.
Researchers believe that ketamine, when paired with therapy and mindfulness practice, improves patient motivation to quit or moderate alcohol use, increases resilience, and decreases defeatism after a relapse by making the patient more open to change.
Ketamine may also help reprogram maladaptive reward memories (MRM) in the brain of a problem drinker or alcoholic. In one experimental study, 90 participants were shown cues for drinking, such as an image of a beer, and then given one ketamine infusion. Afterward, 82% of participants reported a reduction in desire for and enjoyment of alcohol, which continued for the entire nine-month experiment follow-up.
Nationwide, 14.5 million people aged 12 and up report suffering an AUD, but only 7.2% receive treatment. Transcend Health Solutions offers ketamine infusions paired with behavioral and motivational therapies to restore a healthy relationship with alcohol, whether you are a problem drinker or have an AUD.
Your health is worth the time.
Ketamine is a very short acting medication. Generally speaking, any side effect experienced from Ketamine will be short-term and will subside after the infusion has stopped. It can be normal to have slight increases in blood pressure and heart rate during an infusion. A small percentage of patient do experience some nausea during or right after the infusion. Nausea, elevated blood pressure and heart rate are easily managed through IV medications during the session should these arise. Most patient who do not eat for three hours prior to the session, and keep their eyes closed or use eyeshades during the session, will not experience any nausea.
In high doses and or with very frequent administration Ketamine can be irritating to the bladder. For the purposes of facilitating KAP, doses of ketamine are low and most patients will only do one or two sessions per week. In this dosing and frequency there an extremely low risk of for developing bladder irritation caused by the administration of ketamine.
During your medical intake, we will determine if you need to alter your medication regime prior to treatment. There are only a few medications that should be altered prior to initiating treatment. For instance, stimulant medications, benzodiazepines, and medications like Lamictal may need to be held or adjusted prior to treatment.
We request that you don't eat a meal within 3 hours of the start of your appointment time.
After receiving a ketamine infusion, it is normal to feel slightly tired or loopy for several hours. It would be unsafe to drive after a session so we do require that you arrange a family/friend to pick you up or utilize a taxi or other ride service.
It is best to provide time to fully process the therapeutic content that may have been worked through in the session. We encourage our clients to journal and integrate in the time following the session.
At Transcend, it is our goal to have this treatment be a highly transformative, short term intervention for you.
One of the reasons to undergo the KAP process with a therapist vs. receiving Ketamine infusion or injection only is because most people are more able to avoid needing maintenance treatment longterm with KAP. When symptom reduction has occurred through the chemical effects of ketamine only, there is often a need to re-administer ketamine every 20-40 days to keep symptoms at bay. With KAP, symptom reduction is more often secondary to therapeutic progress which does not dwindle in time, and therefore maintenance treatments are often not required.
The majority of our clients will reach sub-clinical levels of distress after an average of 5-6 sessions. Most of our clients will discharge from our care after these sessions and need any form of maintenance therapy. Some people do benefit from revisiting KAP intermittently throughout the year following the initial series as needed to continue therapeutic progress but this is not the most common treatment plan at Transcend.
For chronic pain treatment, it is more difficult to keep baseline pain levels down and flair-ups without maintenance infusions ongoing. The majority of patients with chronic pain will do sessions every 3-6 weeks to keep the pain reduced.
You can expect to be at the clinic for approximately 1.5-2 hours. There are many factors that influence the length of the infusion but most patients will receive a 35-45 minute ketamine infusion. Your Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy trained therapist and medical provider will be by your side throughout your entire time in the clinic.
Have another question? Don't hesitate to reach out to us.