It may sound like an unlikely route to abstinence, but scientists have found that a treatment involving a one-off shot of ketamine could help heavy drinkers substantially reduce alcohol consumption.

The scientists behind the work said that ketamine, more commonly known as a recreational drug and animal tranquilliser, can be harnessed to “rewrite” drink-related memories. The findings raise the prospect that the therapy could in future be developed into an entirely new form of treatment for alcohol addiction.

Dr Ravi Das, a psychologist at University College London, who led the trial, said: “There was a really big drop-off, which was maintained or got even better up to nine months [after treatment]. I was surprised by how effective it was.”

Please visit The Guardian to learn more about the progress of this research.

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