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Single versus repeated sessions of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy for people with heroin dependence

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Abstract

A prior study found that one ketamine-assisted psychotherapy session was significantly more effective than active placebo in promoting abstinence (Krupitsky et al. 2002). In this study of the efficacy of single versus repeated sessions of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy in promoting abstinence in people with heroin dependence, 59 detoxified inpatients with heroin dependence received a ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KPT) session prior to their discharge from an addiction treatment hospital, and were then randomized into two treatment groups. Participants in the first group received two addiction counseling sessions followed by two KPT sessions, with sessions scheduled on a monthly interval (multiple KPT group). Participants in the second group received two addiction counseling sessions on a monthly interval, but no additional ketamine therapy sessions (single KPT group). At one-year follow-up, survival analysis demonstrated a significantly higher rate of abstinence in the multiple KPT group. Thirteen out of 26 subjects (50%) in the multiple KPT group remained abstinent, compared to 6 out of 27 subjects (22.2%) in the single KPT group (p < 0.05). No differences between groups were found in depression, anxiety, craving for heroin, or their understanding of the meaning of their lives. It was concluded that three sessions of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy are more effective than a single session for the treatment of heroin addiction.

Krupitsky, E. M., Burakov, A. M., Dunaevsky, I. V., Romanova, T. N., Slavina, T. Y., & Grinenko, A. Y. (2007). Single versus repeated sessions of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy for people with heroin dependence. Journal of psychoactive drugs, 39(1), 13-19. https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02791072.2007.10399860
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