Substance Dependency Specialist

Austin Ketamine Clinic

Ketamine Therapy Clinic located in Austin, TX

Whether you’re dependent on alcohol, opioids, or other drugs, the cravings and withdrawal symptoms you experience make it dangerous to detox without medical supervision. At Austin Ketamine Clinic in Austin, Texas, the experienced team can help with ketamine infusion therapy. If you struggle with substance dependency, use the online booking feature or call the office today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Substance Dependency Q&A

What is substance abuse?

Substance abuse, also called substance use disorder, refers to excessive use of alcohol or drugs. Substance use disorders include the following substances:  

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Cannabis
  • Hallucinogens
  • Inhalants
  • Opioids
  • Sedatives
  • Hypnotics
  • Stimulants
  • Tobacco

You can use these substances excessively without becoming addicted. However, substance abuse increases your risk of substance dependency.

What causes substance dependency?

Drugs and alcohol stimulate your brain’s reward and pleasure system, where they trigger the release of brain chemicals that boost your mood, make you feel good, and take away your pain.

If you keep using drugs and/or alcohol, they cause physical changes in your brain. As a result, you develop strong, uncontrollable cravings for that substance.

Once cravings begin, you experience withdrawal symptoms if you try to stop using the substance. That’s when you cross the line from overuse to substance dependency.

Before long, another change occurs: Your brain builds up a tolerance to the amount you use. Suddenly you discover that you need to take more to satisfy the cravings and achieve the same pleasurable experience. This process continues to escalate as long as you use your substance.

How is substance dependence treated?

The first step in treating an addiction is to detox from the substance. This process requires a physician’s supervision so you can receive medications such as buprenorphine and naloxone, which stop your cravings and prevent withdrawal symptoms.

While all addictive substances cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, some are downright dangerous and can lead to death if you suddenly stop taking them without medical support.

Ketamine is a medication that has been used as an anesthetic during surgery for decades. More recently, medical experts discovered that low doses of ketamine effectively treat mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and OCD. And now research shows that it can also treat an addiction.  

In addition to its impact on brain chemicals, ketamine may improve neuron connections, alleviating changes in the brain caused by the ongoing use of drugs and alcohol. Studies show that ketamine improves withdrawal symptoms in people who are dependent on opioids. 

The medical experts continue to explore other possible mechanisms of action. For example, ketamine shows promise for disrupting neural networks that support dependency and blocking drug-related memories. Ketamine infusion is already a proven therapy for depression, which often accompanies an addiction.

If you need help breaking an addiction, call Austin Ketamine Clinic or book a complimentary consultation online.