BTC Explores Ketamine Therapy For Alcohol And Substance Abuse

Published July 10, 2023
Santa Rosa, California -

Santa Rosa, CA based Be the Change in Mental Health (BTC) is pleased to announce that they are exploring pilot programs to use Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) to augment standard treatment programs for substance use disorder. BTC is already in conversation with the leadership of Duffy’s Napa Valley Rehab to start a program focused on veterans that would have Duffy clients participate in 4-6 sessions of KAP at BTC’s Santa Rosa office.

Ketamine is used by medical practitioners as an anesthetic. It is known as a ‘dissociative drug,’ which means it interacts with different chemicals in the brain, in turn producing both visual and auditory distortion. The patient may experience this distortion as a detachment from reality, which may lend to the drug’s reputation. While the use of any drug comes with certain risks, BTC clarifies that Ketamine is known to have a high safety profile, and this is why it has been used as an anesthetic since the 1970s.

Recently, interest has been mounting, both among medical professionals as well as the public at large, regarding Ketamine’s possible impact on certain mental health conditions. Notably, this line of inquiry was initiated some time ago, as well, in the early 2000s, when a series of studies showed it may be effective as an antidepressant. These studies contributed to its ‘off label’ use in treating depression as well as a number of other mental health concerns. BTC adds that, despite the ‘off label’ status, ketamine use is completely legal under medical supervision.

Interest has similarly been mounting in the use of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy to help address various types of substance use disorders. BTC points out that Ibogaine, a naturally occurring psychoactive substance extracted from the roots of a plant called Iboga, is known for its ability to help people completely and abruptly stop using opiates. However, Ibogaine is itself an illegal substance. To date, Ketamine remains the only legally available medication for psychedelic-assisted therapy.

During psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, a mind-altering medication (such as Ketamine) is used during an otherwise ordinary psychotherapy session. While therapy is intended to help patients discover and utilize new ways of thinking or feeling, the idea is that this form of medication can make it easier for them to achieve this state. As such, the threshold for a positive outcome may be reduced. This is why many experts are interested in Ketamine therapy for alcohol and substance abuse.

BTC acknowledges that psychedelics for therapeutic healing have only recently come back into western medicine, but their potential is being increasingly supported by research and scientific evidence. Further, the organization points out that many other cultures have been utilizing psychedelics in some form for millenia, providing a rich history of experiences to pull from.

Today, a psychedelic-assisted therapy program typically integrates psychedelic medicine with psychotherapy to treat conditions like depression, generalized anxiety disorder and trauma. The organization adds that a number of studies have already looked at the use of ketamine to help address addiction, though they have not been widely publicized. BTC is proud to lend their expertise and resources to ongoing efforts in this regard.

BTC states, “Although there can be no claims made as to exactly why KAP works for substance use disorder, there are reasonable hypotheses that in addressing trauma and anxiety that trigger substance use, patients are simply relieved of the drive to blunt life with drugs or alcohol.” Without this pressure, it then follows, patients might be more receptive to the well-documented benefits already offered by established therapeutic techniques.

This is the drive behind BTC’s desire to explore Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy. As a patient-focused clinic, BTC is always investigating how the patient experience (and outcomes) can be improved. It is the team’s hope that KAP will prove to be the next major step in psychotherapy. See more here: Ketamine Clinic Sonoma County.

Be the Change in Mental Health looks forward to sharing the results of their pilot programs in the near future. Those interested in learning more about these programs or the organization’s other initiatives may get in touch with Dr. Marisha Chilcott of Be the Change in Mental Health to follow up on any further inquiries. BTC may be reached by phone or email.


For more information about Be the Change in Mental Health, contact the company here:

Be the Change in Mental Health
Dr. Marisha Chilcott
2800 Cleveland Ave Ste C, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

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