Ketamine for Alcoholism & AUD

Table of Contents

What is Alcoholism & AUD?

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a brain disorder characterized by a pattern of alcohol use that involves an impaired ability to control or stop drinking despite adverse occupational, health, or social consequences. It is a progressive disorder that typically worsens over time. AUD encompasses previous labels such as alcoholism, alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, and alcohol addiction.

Any alcohol use that places your state of health or safety at risk or causes other alcohol-related issues is classified as unhealthy alcohol use. This also includes binge drinking, a pattern of drinking where a man has 5 or more drinks within 2 hours, or a female has 4 or more drinks within 2 hours. Binge drinking poses serious health threats.

Symptoms of Alcoholism and AUD

Symptoms of alcoholism and alcohol use disorder include:

  • No control of alcohol intake
  • Wanting to cut back on drinking but being unsuccessful at doing so
  • Continuing to drink even though you’re aware it’s causing problems with work, relationships, and/or your health
  • Spending a significant amount of time drinking or recovering from drinking
  • Experiencing strong cravings or urges to drink alcohol
  • Reducing social, hobby, or work activities to use alcohol
  • Failing to fulfill obligations at home, school or work due to drinking alcohol
  • Using alcohol in situations where it is unsafe to do so, for example driving
  • Developing a tolerance to alcohol to a point where you need more to feel its effect
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you don’t drink. Withdrawal symptoms can include sweating, tremors, or nausea.

According to a study done by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2020, in people aged 12 or older, 10.2 percent (28.3 million people) had a past year alcohol use disorder.

If you find yourself or a loved one is in a pattern of drinking that leads to repeated significant problems and inability to function in daily life, you or they may have alcohol use disorder. Alcohol use can range from mild to severe, but even a mild stage can escalate and lead to serious problems, so early treatment is essential. If left untreated, it can lead to serious health consequences and premature death.

Traditional Treatment for Alcoholism & AUD

Treatments for AUD can vary significantly and include behavioral therapies, prescription medicines, or the use of IV vitamin therapies such as NAD to help with detoxification and withdrawal. Using a combination of these therapies is more likely to produce a positive result but most people suffering from AUD will need ongoing support to cope with necessary lifestyle changes and managing relapses.

Quite often, treating alcoholism includes more intensive options like being checked into a residential rehabilitation center for either short or long-term care. Unfortunately, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), only about 33% of people who are treated for alcohol problems have no further symptoms 1 year later. With alcohol being so prevalent in our society, it can be difficult for AUD sufferers to remain abstinent.

Ketamine Therapy for Alcoholism & AUD

Many of the treatments available for alcoholism and AUD have limited effectiveness, resulting in what can be a vicious cycle of sobriety and relapses for those who suffer from this disorder. With an ever-increasing need for a better way to help AUD sufferers, it appears that researchers have found one in using ketamine for alcoholism. A recent study on the effects of psychotherapy and ketamine treatments for severe alcoholics showed that people with a severe case of alcohol use disorder were able to abstain from drinking longer when they were treated with low doses of ketamine combined with therapy.

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How Does Ketamine Treat Alcoholism?

Researchers believe that ketamine’s efficacy on treating alcoholism stems from its ability to target symptoms of psychological conditions, such as depression, diminished sense of motivation or resilience, and purging psychological vulnerabilities that contribute to relapses after overcoming addiction. Because of this, ketamine aids people with alcohol dependence to change their habits of behavior, allowing them to start working toward personal goals with the assistance of a clinician or a therapy counselor.

Ketamine Therapy for Alcoholism and AUD Protocol

Protocols for ketamine therapy for alcoholism can vary based on what is being treated and the needs of the patient. Typically, ketamine therapy for alcoholism will require multiple sessions (between 3-6). You will experience your ketamine therapy in one of our carefully decorated treatment rooms, designed specifically to evoke a sense of peace and tranquility during your visit. Our expertly trained staff will answer any questions you may have prior to treatment and be there to support you while you receive it.

Ketamine can be a very effective treatment for alcoholics who have detoxed and are looking for ways to maintain their sobriety. If you find yourself sober, but still struggling with long-term withdrawal symptoms or if you wish to quit but have been unsuccessful with previous attempts or other programs, give us a call to learn more about how Ketamine therapy can assist you on your journey to sobriety.


Many of the patients we treat arrive mentally, emotionally, and physically drained from their battle with alcohol use disorder, yet they remain hopeful and willing to fight. We are excited and so very grateful to be able to offer ketamine therapy to treat alcoholism and alcohol use disorder. Ketamine therapy will help alleviate cravings and symptoms, in addition to facilitating healing on a deep level, often addressing the root cause of alcoholism. Contact us today to get started!

Ketamine Therapy for Alcholism FAQs

You must be physical detoxed from alcohol. Ketamine helps reduce cravings and interrupt the persistent thought patterns that come with AUD. It cannot be safely administered to people who are still under physical addiction to alcohol. 

Depending on how you respond to treatments, you may or may not need ongoing treatments. Often, at the root of alcoholism and AUD are emotional traumas. Because ketamine has the ability to heal trauma, you may find yourself free from the desire to self-medicate with alcohol.