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SPEAKERS

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CELIA MORGAN PhD
Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Celia Morgan is currently Professor of Psychopharmacology at the University of Exeter where she heads up the Psychopharmacology and Addiction Research Centre. Working as an assistant psychologist in substance misuse services in inner city London shortly after graduating, Celia formed a lifelong interest in developing with better treatments for addiction and became passionate about finding new ways of enhancing psychological therapies pharmacologically. Since her PhD at UCL and time spent at Yale her work has focused largely on cannabis and ketamine, and is funded by the Medical Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council and the Beckley Foundation.

ABSTRACT: KETAMINE AS A TREATMENT FOR ALCOHOL USE DISORDER

Ketamine is an anaesthetic that has emerged as an impressive and fast-acting treatment for treatment-refractory depression. Data from Russia in 1980’s and 1990s also suggests that psychotherapy combined with three weekly doses of ketamine in recently detoxified alcoholics may reduce 12 month relapse rates in alcohol-dependence from 76% to 34% (Krupitsky & Grinenko, 1996). We will discuss our trial currently underway that is looking at ketamine combined with CBT and mindfulness. I shall then discuss possible mechanisms for ketamine’s effects in alcoholism, such as its antidepressant effects, increases in synaptogenesis and psychospiritual and existential properties of the experience.