It is perhaps better known as an illegal hallucinogenic party drug but in recent years ketamine has acquired an unexpected reputation: as a medicinal substance at the front line of scientific research.

Introduced about 50 years ago as an anaesthetic and commonly used as a horse tranquilliser, ketamine is now touted as a remedy against depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and migraines. To that list we can add addiction, after a team of psychopharmacologists from University College London revealed that a one-off dose of the drug could help heavy drinkers refuse alcohol. 

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now