Alcohol Use Disorder
Our clinical trials show that ketamine is highly effective for treating Alcohol Use Disorder. Ketamine is currently the only licensed psychedelic in the UK. With this treatment programme, we will become the first company in the world to deliver clinically-tested psychedelic-assisted treatment outside of a clinical trial.
Our KARE (Ketamine in the Reduction of Alcoholic Relapse) clinical trials – the only Phase II trials to fully test ketamine-assisted therapy for Alcohol Use Disorder in the world has had some very positive results. The paper and its detailed findings will be published in the American Journal of Psychiatry very soon. Anecdotally, many participants reported sudden profound changes (‘like taking off my alcoholic jacket and hanging it up forever’) and the ease of giving up after struggling for years.
The therapies and dosing regimens in these trials will now be delivered through our network of clinics.
Ketamine changes the brain circuitry associated with addiction, allowing the person to be more flexible and open to new learning. Our trained therapists can harness this flexibility to help our clients weaken negative thought patterns and relearn positive ones.
In August 2021, we initiated the world’s first Ketamine treatment study for Gambling Disorder, which is a behavioural addiction that affects more than 2.5% of American adults, that's almost 10 million Americans.
In January of 2022 we expanded this study to include several other behavioral addictions, including, Binge Eating Disorder, Compulsive Sexual Behaviour and Internet gaming Disorder.
The basket study, which will be another world’s first, is led by Prof. Celia Morgan, Awakn's Head of Ketamine-Assisted Therapy for Addiction, Professor of Psychopharmacology at the University of Exeter, U.K., and an internationally respected expert in the therapeutic use of ketamine.
Professor Morgan’s work will investigate a new treatment approach for these behavioral addictions, trying to harness a window in which the brain is able to make new connections. The study will explore and monitor whether the ketamine can increase neuroplasticity using EEG (Electroencephalogram).
There are currently no licensed pharmacological treatments for behavioral addictions or disorders available, and the need to find new and effective treatment options has never been more important. Behavioural addictions have devastating consequences for individuals and their families, affecting physical and mental health, and increasing mortality from suicide. The global populations affected by behavioural addictions are massive with Binge Eating Disorder affecting up to 110 million people; Internet Gaming Disorder affecting 238 million; Sexual Compulsive Behaviour affecting up to 350 million; and Gambling Disorder up to 450 million people.
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