How is Ketamine Therapy Used for Addiction? Photo

How is Ketamine Therapy Used for Addiction?

Ketamine is one of the safest and most common anesthetics used around the world. But, in the last few decades, the medical community has extensively researched and used this psychedelic medicine for more than just its anesthetic properties. Ketamine has powerful, medically proven therapeutic and healing properties for many conditions, including drug addictions and alcohol use disorder.

Mental and emotional barriers often prevent us from progressing through treatment and making lasting changes. Ketamine-assisted therapy (KAT) can be effective in treating addiction because it breaks down your inhibitions and helps you get out of the purely defensive “survival mode” many of us are stuck in. In this way, ketamine can actually help you acknowledge and address the root causes for using and abusing addictive substances and medications. 

At The Sanctuary, we meticulously integrate our science-based ketamine-assisted treatment sessions into your personalized addiction treatment program. By doing this, ketamine’s healing powers work alongside the rest of your therapeutic treatments, complementing your complete healing journey. 

Ketamine can be a key stepping stone along the path to healing your addiction. We hope that understanding more about addiction and ketamine treatment for addiction will help you choose the best program for you to find healing. 

Understanding What Addiction Is 

We can form addictions when our behaviors and thought patterns get stuck in a loop. Substance and alcohol abuse occurs when we repeat these patterns regardless of any harmful consequences. Addictions often form as a response to and a result of trauma, whether physical, mental, spiritual or emotional. 

We know that trauma can have both psychological and physiological effects on us. Oftentimes, it doesn’t matter how long ago or how recently our trauma occurred. These negative mental and physical impacts prevent us from being able to move past our traumas. Which is why so many of us develop addictions. Our addictions are an “escape” from our pain. Or at least that’s what we believe.  

Treating Addiction with Ketamine

Scientific studies have proven that ketamine can help our brains repair and even build new neural pathways. This process, called neuroplasticity, remaps connections in our brain and body. So, your brain can quite literally “rewire” itself, changing and adapting based on your experiences and your environment.

With the help of ketamine, when used in a therapeutic setting, you can access your emotions more and on a deeper level. You can see your emotions and your addiction from a different perspective. This mindset shift allows you to then make the most of other therapies, like cognitive behavioral therapy. 

Since its discovery in the 1960s, scientists have worked to understand how ketamine can help people with addictions. One 2002 study measured the effects of ketamine therapy on people addicted to heroin. Scientists found that the positive effects of ketamine therapy included a decrease in most people’s levels of anxiety and depression. Additionally, their subjects reported an increase in self-confidence, emotional receptiveness, and optimism about their futures. This study concluded that “all of those effects might favor abstinence since high levels of depression and anxiety may provoke relapse to heroin in heroin addicts.”

In 2019, the Food and Drug Administration approved ketamine-based medicine in the treatment of severe cases of depression. This was an important step forward in the national recognition of ketamine as a therapeutic treatment. Now, ketamine clinics and rehab facilities are tapping into the healing properties of ketamine to treat everything from depression and anxiety to chronic pain and addiction.

Experiencing Ketamine Therapy at The Sanctuary

At The Sanctuary, ketamine-assisted treatment sessions are not just add-on treatments. If applicable to you, KAT becomes an integral part of your addiction healing program.

During ketamine therapy, the setting affects the overall experience and potential outcomes. Because of this, we’ve purposefully created a calming environment for your ketamine sessions that assists in the healing process. 

In addition to the restorative ambience, our KAT program includes: 

  • A thorough intake evaluation by our nurse practitioner to determine program eligibility
  • A second evaluation with our on-staff naturopathic doctor for KAT program approval
  • A guided intention-setting ceremony before every KAT session
  • On-staff medical professionals to administer your ketamine dose
  • A detoxifying, organic meal in an intimate setting with your KAT program peers 
  • A KAT-related personal therapy session after every KAT session 

Together, all of these components help maximize the healing properties of ketamine. They also facilitate your physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional wellbeing during your time in rehab.

Learn More About The Sanctuary’s Ketamine Therapy for Addiction

Every person’s body and brain are unique. And so is each of our own experiences with trauma and with addiction. Many people have been able to overcome and truly heal from their addictions with ketamine therapy. At The Sanctuary, we’ve created a ketamine-assisted treatment program that supports you throughout your time at our holistic addiction treatment center.

Contact us today for all the latest information about The Sanctuary’s science-based, empathy-driven ketamine-assisted treatment program. 

Learn More About Ketamine-Assisted Treatment: 

B. Forrest Shenkman, N.M.D. Signature Photo

Dr. Forrest is a licensed Naturopathic Physician specializing in retreat-style holistic medicine, natural detoxification and cleansing, mind/body medicine, and regenerative medicine. Dr. Forrest brings to his work a sense of humility, respect, and compassion that is too often absent in the sterile, rigid world of modern medicine. He is deeply honored and grateful to be continuing this work as part of the community and healing that is taking place at the Sanctuary. [email protected]