Timmy Davis is not an alcoholic. But like many twenty-something students, he’s worried he may be drinking too much.
And cutting down isn’t easy. The feel-good memory associations that our minds create – between the sight of a cold pint of beer and pleasure, for instance – lead to the cravings that sustain addictive behaviour, and cause us to relapse.
Dr. Ravi Das is a neuropsychopharmacologist at University College London whose research explores whether we can intervene in addiction by weakening those memories. His latest experiment theorises that ketamine – a controlled drug notorious for its recreational use (to attain a state of intense dissociation and incapacitation described as a ‘K-hole’) – may have the makings of the elusive ‘forgetting pill’ – a drug that, administered under correct clinical conditions, can weaken specific memories safely.
Timmy has volunteered for Dr. Das’ latest experiment, in which 90 volunteers will receive a ketamine infusion in a controlled setting. Timmy is no stranger to psychedelics. But could a drug he has previously encountered recreationally really help him cut down his drinking?
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