Can ketamine treatment help patients to better tolerate acute withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndromes?
Ketamine infusion therapy has finally arrived in Maryland and in the Washington Metropolitan Area. If you are looking for the best ketamine assisted treatment program in the region, look no further than Annapolis.
Can ketamine help with acute withdrawal, protracted withdrawal, and post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS)? Long-term withdrawal symptoms due to Benzodiazepine use are sometimes referred to as BIND, or benzodiazepine-induced neurological dysfunction. Does ketamine for BIND work?
Members of our community who come to our center for ketamine therapy are finding relief from mental health issues, such as treatment resistant depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, addiction, bipolar disorder and more. Ketamine IV infusion also helps to relieve symptoms of migraines, chronic pain, and neuropathic pain.
It is well known that ketamine helps with addictions. Whether it is addiction to opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine, alcohol, gambling, sex, or food, a series of infusions helps to reduce cravings and compulsions, similarly to ketamine for OCD, making it easier to live life without giving in to unhealthy addictive behaviors.
Some drugs cause both addictions and physical dependence. Opioids and alcohol are examples of addictive substances that also cause serious physical withdrawal syndromes.
Benzodiazepines, such as Ativan, Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin cause physical dependence, but not addiction. In most cases, people who take prescribed benzos are physically dependent, but not addicted.
Whether a patient is withdrawing from an addictive substance, such as an opioid or alcohol, or a less addictive substance, such as a benzodiazepine, ketamine can make withdrawal more tolerable. Ketamine has a beneficial effect on GABA and Glutamate levels in the central nervous system, helping to calm the over-excitation of the brain that escalates and exacerbates drug withdrawal.
Can ketamine therapy help with benzodiazepine tapering?
Benzodiazepine withdrawal is particularly difficult. The benzodiazepine detox can be far more difficult than opioid detox or detoxing from cocaine addiction. Most mental health treatment facilities and addiction treatment programs are not prepared to do a proper benzo detox.
Withdrawal symptoms can include insomnia, anxiety, irritability, pain, and gastrointestinal upset. Some patients get restless leg syndrome or rarely, akathisia.
Detoxing from benzodiazepines should be performed over a long period, sometimes several years. The gold standard of benzo tapering is described in the Ashton Manual, written by Dr. Heather Ashton.
A patient following the Ashton tapering protocol will have less withdrawal symptoms compared to a person who quits cold turkey or does a fast detox. Yet, they still experience withdrawal discomfort during the gradual Ashton Method tapering.
Ketamine therapy for benzo withdrawal can help during a slow taper. It also helps to reduce withdrawal symptoms for people who have already quit benzos on their own or in a benzo detox program.
While ketamine IV infusion therapy will help to make benzodiazepine withdrawal more tolerable, it will not eliminate withdrawal symptoms completely. And, it is important that the patient work with an experienced drug tapering doctor who understands how to implement a safe, gradual benzo tapering plan.
How does opioid withdrawal treatment differ from benzodiazepine withdrawal treatment?
Ketamine therapy will help with both benzo withdrawal and opioid or opiate withdrawal. Yet, the processes are different, because opioids are also highly addictive.
How can a person be tapered from a substance that is addictive? What can a doctor do to help the patient to gradually reduce their opioid without taking too much?
Fortunately, Suboxone therapy makes it possible for opioid users to do a gradual taper, using an opioid that does not have strongly addictive properties. The patient transitions from drugs such as heroin, fentanyl, or oxycodone to Suboxone, and then they work with their doctor over a year or more to taper gradually.
During the transition on to Suboxone, a process known as induction, the patient experiences some withdrawal symptoms for about a day. In some cases, with fentanyl use, the patient may experience withdrawal for several days before being able to start Suboxone.
Ketamine can help with the induction period to reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms. A patient preparing to start Suboxone recovery with medication assisted treatment may want to coordinate with a ketamine center to ensure the best results.
When Suboxone treatment is nearing completion, ketamine can help with the Suboxone tapering process. As the patient reduces their dosage, they may experience opioid withdrawal symptoms. Ketamine infusion therapy can help to make this process more tolerable.
Suboxone patients go to an addiction doctor. What kind of doctor helps with benzo tapering?
In most cases, benzodiazepine addiction is not the problem. People who require benzo tapering and withdrawal management need help with long-term benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms, not addiction.
The benzo patient has most likely taken their medication as directed by a psychiatrist or family doctor for many years. They are not addicted to the benzo, and they should not be treated as if they are addicted.
The benzo withdrawal syndrome is typically far more lengthy than most drug withdrawals. Opioid withdrawal is difficult, Alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous, but benzo withdrawal is both dangerous, difficult, and very long lasting for some patients.
Xanax withdrawal symptoms, klonopin withdrawal, Ativan withdrawal, all are similar. While each benzo has unique characteristics, they are essentially the same in how they affect the human central nervous system.
While many rehabs promise that they can detox benzo patients, they are better prepared to help patients with addictions. Benzo dependent patients need a doctor who is experienced with benzo tapers.
How does a patient being treated for drug withdrawal get help with ketamine therapy?
Detox facilities and rehabs do not offer ketamine infusion therapy. Most private doctor’s offices do not provide ketamine services either.
In order to get ketamine infusion therapy for benzo withdrawal or for opioid withdrawal, the patient must visit a dedicated ketamine facility. They can arrange for their Suboxone doctor or benzodiazepine tapering doctor to coordinate with the ketamine clinic.
If you are in the Virginia, Maryland, or Washington Metropolitan Areas, please contact us here at our Annapolis ketamine center. Drug tapering does not have to be unpleasant or difficult.
Patients who fear going forward with the tapering process because they do not want to experience either opioid withdrawal or benzodiazepine withdrawal should learn more about the benefits of ketamine infusion treatments. Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic medication that provides many benefits to help the patient to get through drug withdrawal.
Dendritic connections in the brain are increased and improved through neurogenesis, brain inflammation is reduced, and neurotransmitters are affected in such a way to make withdrawal more tolerable. The detox process no longer has to be put on hold indefinitely.
Has your tapering plan stalled, because you do not feel comfortable moving forward, due to withdrawal symptoms? Now is the time to consider ketamine infusion therapy to help you get past difficult drug withdrawal symptoms.