Problem Drinking

An average of 95,000 people die each year from alcohol-related causes.

You are worth it.

(512) 522-6833
Paige Concepcion
Care Cordinator

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.

How Much Is Too Much?

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:

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 1.5 ounces of liquor

The NIAA recommends men have no more than two standard drinks per day, while women have one.

Problem Drinking Versus Alcohol Addiction

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:

  • Binge drinking, defined as five or more standard drinks over the span of two hours for men, and four or more drinks for women
  • Heavy drinking, defined as four or more standard drinks a day for men and three or more drinks a day for women or binge drinking five or more days a month
  • High-intensity drinking, which is considered consumption of two or more times the binge drinking thresholds

Problem drinking creates drinking patterns that can lead to physical dependence on alcohol, often contributing to an AUD.

Signs Of Problem Drinking

There are some crucial questions to ask about your alcohol consumption levels to determine if you or a loved one is a problem drinker.

  • Do you feel like you should stop drinking as much?
  • Are friends and loved ones criticizing your drinking habits or stating they are concerned for you?
  • Do you feel guilty for continuing to drink?
  • Do you regularly drink more than the recommended amounts?
  • Do you engage in binge drinking, heavy drinking, or high-intensity drinking?
  • Is your drinking starting to impact other areas of your life?

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.

The Devastating Effects Of Problem Drinking And AUDs

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:

  • Blackouts
  • Brain fog
  • Cognitive decline
  • Liver disease
  • Blood sugar abnormalities
  • Heart disease
  • Slurred speech
  • Tremors
  • Some cancers
  • Numbness in the extremities
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Permanent brain damage in the frontal lobe, which controls emotions, short-term memory, and judgment
  • Malnutrition
  • High blood pressure
  • A compromised immune system
  • Sexual dysfunction

The Problem With Traditional Medical Advice And AUD Treatment

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.

Using Ketamine To Address Problem Drinking And AUDs

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.

Contact Transcend Health Solutions For A Problem Drinking Consultation Today

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.

"The Transcend Team has been INCREDIBLE with our family!  They have been so caring and their knowledge of how to conduct the infusion session in tandem with the therapy session is the best approach!  My daughter has joy again."
Included services are:
  • Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy
  • Ketamine Infusions for Pain
  • Ketamine for Addiction
  • Ketamine for Alcohol Abuse
  • Ketamine for Hospice Care
  • Ketamine for Senior Care

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Frequently Asked Questions.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy/Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy is ideal for people suffering from treatment resistant depression, anxiety, suicidal ideations, OCD, PTSD and chronic pain conditions with no relief from more traditional medications or therapeutic interventions.

Almost all side effects are short-term and immediately subside after the infusion is discontinued. They may include: elevated blood pressure, increased heart rate and nausea. 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 will not experience nausea.

Long term, the only documented side effect is Bladder Cystitis, but this was achieved from recreational dosing that is administered in far greater volume and frequency than in a medical setting. No medically facilitated Ketamine clinic has ever reported a patient contracting this disorder under appropriate care.

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.

Ketamine is an extremely safe medication, but it may cause nausea in a small percentage of patients. For this reason, we request that you don't eat or drink anything within 3 hours of your infusion time.

After a ketamine infusion, it is normal to feel somewhat 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.

At Transcend, it is our goal to have this treatment be a short term intervention for you. The majority of our patient will reach sub clinical levels of distress after an average of 5-6 sessions. The majority of our patients discharge after these session and do not require any form of maintenance therapy.

Because you are taking a sedative, YOU CANNOT DRIVE AFTER THE TREATMENT. You must arrange for someone to pick you up, otherwise you will not receive a treatment.

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 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.