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Month: July 2022

Ketamine Used to Treat Substance Abuse Disorder

What Is Substance Abuse Disorder?

According to experts at the Mayo Clinic: “Drug addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a disease that affects a person’s brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication. Substances such as alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine also are considered drugs. When you’re addicted, you may continue using the drug despite the harm it causes.”

Many cases of substance abuse disorder can be treated with ketamine therapy.

Know the Symptoms

  • Using or consuming larger quantities or over extended periods than initially planned.
  • Frequently wanting or ineffectively attempting to limit or control the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Spending considerable time acquiring, using, or recuperating from using drugs or alcohol.
  • Craving or having an intense urge to use alcohol or drugs.
  • Constant drug or alcohol usage restricts work, school, or home responsibilities.
  • You keep using alcohol or drugs even when you’re aware of the relationship issues and harm it causes to others.

What Are the Risk Factors?

Risk factors can increase a person’s chances for drug abuse, while protective factors can reduce the risk.” Several factors, including: influence the chance that someone will fall victim to substance abuse

  • Family history
  • You had parents or parental figures who had favorable attitudes towards such behavior
  • Lack of monitoring by parents or authority figures
  • Parental substance use
  • You associate with others who are substance abusers
  • Absence of strong personal relationships
  • Childhood abuse
  • Existing mental health issues

Indicators to Watch For

If you or someone you know has a substance abuse problem, there are indicators to watch for:

  • Problems at school, work or socializing in general
  • A plethora of physical health issues which are readily apparent
  • Lack of concern over personal appearance and hygiene
  • Noticeable changes in behavior, such as secrecy, unusually high need for personal space and boundaries, or sudden changes in behavior and relationships with family and others
  • Money issues related to acquiring favored drugs, alcohol, or other substances which are regularly abused

Ketamine Used to Treat Substance Abuse Disorder

Ketamine is a medicine-first synthesized as an anesthetic in the 1960s and gained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for human and animal use in 1970. It was field-tested on wounded U.S. troops in Vietnam. Since that time, people have discovered many of its other medicinal uses, including treating conditions like substance abuse disorder.

The medicine is primarily dispensed in low doses intravenously when treating mental illness and other conditions. According to one study reported in Frontiers in Psychiatry, ketamine has shown promise in these areas: “These results suggest that ketamine may facilitate abstinence across multiple substances of abuse and warrants broader investigation in addiction treatment.”

Substance abuse disorder is often influenced by mental illness, with depression being one of the most common mental illnesses experienced by someone battling substance abuse issues. How does it work? 

Ketamine may work to repair or strengthen faulty neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for perceptions of pain and mood and emotional regulation, so quickly in fact that it’s been cited as a better option than certain antidepressants.

Ketamine blocks the NMDA receptors, which play an essential role in mood stability, and delivers serotonin directly to the brain by hindering the NMDA receptors, effectively lowering depression symptoms quickly, often within a few hours.

Unlike other medicine, fewer doses of ketamine are needed and can last several days or longer. The U.S. National Library of Medicine concluded in one study that “ketamine shows great promise as a treatment for various addictions, but well-controlled research is urgently needed.”

Diagnosis & Treatment

Diagnosing substance abuse is never easy, often because of symptoms that overlap with other conditions. The best person to offer diagnosis and treatment options is a medical or mental health professional specializing in substance abuse. If the abuse is related to a medical condition, the condition may be treatable and thereby reduce substance abuse from happening. A mental health professional may also identify triggers for your illness, such as a personal or family history of mental illness and other risk factors.

Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicine to make substance use less palatable and recommend psychotherapy or ketamine therapy.

Final Thoughts

If you think you’re experiencing substance abuse disorder, talk with a medical or mental health professional for diagnosis and to learn about treatment options. With time and care, you can regain control of your life.

 

How to Help Someone with Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic pain is a debilitating chronic pain condition characterized by burning, shooting, or stabbing pain. It is caused by nerve damage resulting from injury, disease, or an infection that affects the nerves.

The damage to the nerves causes them to misfire, sending pain signals to the brain even when there is no actual injury or damage present. Neuropathic pain can take a toll on a person’s physical and mental health, making it difficult to cope with day-to-day life.

Helping Someone with Neuropathic Pain

Watching someone close to you struggle with pain on a daily basis and not being able to do anything to help ease their pain can be heart-wrenching. But there are things you can do to help them better cope and manage their pain.

Encourage Them to Seek Professional Help

If your loved one is dealing with neuropathic pain, the first thing you should do is encourage them to seek help from a doctor or pain specialist. Without proper treatment, neuropathic pain can worsen over time and lead to extensive nerve degeneration.

A doctor will be able to properly diagnose the cause of the pain and develop a treatment plan to help manage the pain and treat the underlying cause. In most cases, a treatment plan will include a combination of medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes.

Educate Yourself about Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic pain is a complex condition and can be different for everyone. It is essential to educate yourself about the condition and work on being a better source of support for your loved one.

There are a variety of online resources available that can help you learn more about neuropathic pain, its causes, and the available treatment options. The more you know about the condition, the better equipped you’ll be to help your loved one manage their pain.

Encourage Them to Adopt Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Healthy lifestyle changes can go a long way in managing neuropathic pain and preventing further nerve damage. Encourage your loved one to stick to healthy habits like eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and abstaining from alcohol and smoking.

You can also join them on their journey to better health by making healthy lifestyle changes together.

Be There for Them Emotionally

Neuropathic pain can be incredibly frustrating. Your loved ones may feel like they are the only ones struggling or like no one understands what they are going through. It’s vital to be there for them emotionally, whether that means being a shoulder to cry on or just listening to them vent about their pain. 

Offer Practical Help

Neuropathic pain can make it difficult to complete everyday chores like cooking, cleaning, or running errands. If your loved one is struggling, offer to help them around the house or with errands. Taking over some of their responsibilities for even a day can give them a much-needed break to focus on managing their pain and taking care of themselves.

Be Patient

Managing neuropathic pain is a gradual process. There will be good days and bad days. Be patient with your loved one as they explore different treatment options and work toward managing their pain.

Watch Out For Signs of Depression

The psychological strain of living with chronic neuropathic pain can lead to depression and anxiety. If you notice your loved one withdrawing from activities or close friends, or if they seem more irritable and moody than usual, these could be signs of depression. Encourage them to talk to a professional about their feelings or seek treatment if needed. 

Look After Yourself

Caring for someone with a chronic condition is physically and emotionally demanding, and you can burn yourself out if you’re not careful. Make sure to take time for yourself, do things you enjoy, and connect with a support system of your own.

 

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