Addiction Treatment in Amherst and Cambridge, MA
If you are wondering whether you or a loved one has a problem with substance abuse, here are a few of the signs:
- Getting high or drunk on a regular basis
- Lying, especially about the amount one is using or drinking
- Avoiding friends and family members
- Talking or thinking a lot about using drugs or alcohol
- Believing in needing to use or drink to have fun
- Taking excessive risk under the influence of a substance
- Diminishing work performance
- Feeling depressed or hopeless, or having thoughts of self-harm or suicide
At Cambridge Biotherapies™, we offer treatment for those struggling with addiction.
Ketamine Can Treat Addiction
Several clinical trials – some looking at cocaine addiction and some at alcohol abuse – have demonstrated that patients treated with ketamine had better outcomes than those who had psychotherapy without ketamine treatment. As a result of these findings, the National Institute of Mental Health is now actively supporting research into how ketamine might be used to treat a wide variety of addictive behaviors.
Ketamine likely helps those struggling with addiction by changing how the brain deals with cravings, and by reducing the intensity and frequency of unpleasant states of mind that trigger cravings for substances.
For ketamine to be helpful in addiction treatment, it must be used under the close supervision of medical professionals. And it is important to remember that ketamine is not the best approach for everyone. At Cambridge Biotherapies, we take a careful, respectful approach. We work collaboratively with outside treaters, and engage family members whenever our patients feel that might be helpful.
Ketamine & Alcohol
Interestingly, a family history of alcohol dependence seems to predict a rapid initial antidepressant response to an NMDA receptor antagonist like ketamine. So a family history of alcohol dependence may serve as a useful marker for the patient’s potential response to ketamine. It has been suggested that NMDA receptors, which ketamine effects, are one of the targets linked to the action of ethanol in the brain, and genetic alterations of NMDA receptor subunits have been associated with the emergence of alcohol dependence.
Ketamine & Opioids
Use of an opioid to manage chronic pain is not a contraindication to receiving ketamine therapy for depression or anxiety. However, we evaluate the safety of ketamine for patients taking opioids on a case by case basis.
For anyone who has struggled with an opioid use disorder, we have a set of guidelines which, if met, can make ketamine therapy at Cambridge Biotherapies an option.
Guidelines for Receiving Ketamine Therapy at Cambridge Biotherapies if you have an opioid use disorder:
- You must have a treatment team in place, which includes a clinician trained in issues related to addiction.
- We must be able to work collaboratively with your treatment team.
- You must be sober for 6 weeks prior to the first infusion.
- You must be on some form of medication assisted therapy (MAT), such as suboxone, methadone, or vivitrol.
- You must do a quick urine drug screen prior to each infusion.
Our goals in implementing these criteria are (1) to provide ketamine therapy in the safest possible manner, and (2) to provide structure and expectations around treatment and thereby support your efforts to stay sober.
If you do not have a treatment team in place, we can, under some circumstances, help you get connected to one.
Psychedelics and Addiction
A recent study led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine showed that two doses of psilocybin, a compound found in psychedelic mushrooms, reduces heavy drinking by 83 percent on average among heavy drinkers when combined with psychotherapy.
While psilocybin is not yet available by prescription, our team at Cambridge Biotherapies is trained in the proper therapeutic uses of psilocybin, and we will offer this treatment as soon as it becomes FDA approved.
We are here to help. If you have questions or are interested in treatment or just a consultation to discuss your options, please reach out to us.