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Substance Abuse Treatment

Substance Abuse Treatment in Philadelphia, PA

Substance abuse treatment

A 2015 survey found that over 21 million Americans suffer from some form of a substance use disorder, and, more frightening still, 63,600 people died from drug overdoses in 2016. The toll will likely rise as opioid addiction increases. Alcohol use disorder affects roughly 7% of adults in the U.S.

Alcohol addiction, or alcohol use disorder, varies from person to person. Many people only binge drink on weekends, while others drink daily, sometimes starting early in the day.

Signs of alcohol abuse disorder or addiction may include:

  • An inability to regulate how much you drink
  • Alcohol cravings
  • Blackout drinking
  • Physical symptoms in the absence of alcohol, like the “shakes”
  • Needing a drink to do daily activities
  • Requiring more alcohol to achieve the same effect

Signs of substance abuse and addiction may include:

  • Physical withdrawal, such as flu-like symptoms or the “shakes”
  • The inability to avoid using the substance
  • Diminished performance at school or work
  • Social isolation
  • Participating less in preferred activities
  • Financial troubles
  • Strained or alienated relationships with friends and family
  • Severe anxiety
  • Depression and suicide

Ultimately, alcohol is a drug. Addiction to any drug, including alcohol, can devastate one’s life and the lives of friends and family. Addictions do not often, if ever, go away on their own. The brain adapts to consistently administered substances. Alcohol and drug addiction are maladaptations of your brain’s response to these substances. The neural pathways established by drug use reduce reward channels to other activities and increase them in response to substance use, which leads to cravings and difficulty performing other tasks.

How Does Ketamine for Substance Use Work?

Exactly how ketamine treats substance use disorder and other mental health disorders is still under investigation. Recent evidence points to ketamine’s inhibitory effects on the NMDA receptor in the lateral habenula. The lateral habenula is a brain region primarily responsible for encoding negative rewards or anti-reward cause-and-effect relationships. Those with OCD show an abnormal regulation of glutamate. As a non-competitive NMDA antagonist, ketamine prevents glutamate from activating the NMDA receptor.

The inhibition of the NMDA receptor may cause a build-up of free glutamate, which then activates the AMPA receptors. When surplus glutamate activates the AMPA receptor, it releases a brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) chemical. BDNF, in interaction with the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), promotes new neural growth. This new growth may reroute the brain from hyperactive areas associated with negative reward signals, thereby providing long-term relief from mental health conditions.

Ketamine overrides inebriated memories, which may be a foundational component of addiction or abuse. In reframing these memories, ketamine reduces craving triggers. Ketamine therapy is especially useful for promoting sobriety.

Ketamine infusion therapy is not a one-stop treatment for alcohol and substance abuse. However, ketamine can be a powerful tool for a comprehensive recovery program.

Is Ketamine Treatment Right for You?

Are you tired of battling substance abuse? Have you had little to no relief from antidepressants or talk therapy? Then ketamine infusions might be an excellent option for you.

Our expert providers can walk you through everything you need to know to make the best decision for you and your life. Voyage Healing is psychiatrist-run with expertly trained therapists on hand. We have extensive experience helping those with substance use disorder get their lives back.

Contact us today to learn more!

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