How Acupuncture Benefits People Suffering From Drug Addiction

Acupuncture has become a common way of treating patients fighting addiction in the West. More and more judicial courts require that patients be treated with acupuncture as part of their treatment plan. This practice has been integrated in several facilities in the US making acupuncture a main component in the rehabilitation of drug addicts. The incorporation of acupuncture into their treatment plans has truly helped a lot of people recover from narcotics addiction.

Acupuncture Provides a Lot of Benefits for People with Narcotics Addiction

Folks who really have had a difficult time being treated for drug addiction have responded beautifully to acupuncture treatment. Those who have problems managing their agitation or anxiety are calmed by acupuncture therapy. Among patients suffering from fear, the process of acupuncture makes them more receptive as it halts the underlying reason that sets off their fear.

Patients Respond Very Well To Acupuncture

Most people with addiction problems who have received treatment for addiction respond positively to acupuncture. One survey conducted by the Lincoln Hospital has shown that 90% of patients suffering from acute withdrawal got relief from acupuncture treatment. For those who have received the treatment as a part of detoxification, 90% of them voluntarily came back for additional acupuncture treatments. After having several serial acupuncture sessions, 60% of patients remained drug-free for several months.

Studies on Addiction and Acupuncture Treatment in Reading

Besides providing a means for managing withdrawal symptoms, anxiety, and fear for recovering addicts, acupuncture also doesn’t cause any side effects. Patients experience better sleep and lesser cravings for substances after receiving acupuncture.

Ear or acupuncture or auriculotherapy is an acupuncture technique involving the needling of a number of acupoints in the ear. The ones who benefit the most from this type of types of treatment are cocaine addicts. A study done in 2000 by Yale University study showed that after receiving acupuncture about 55% of cocaine addicts tested negative for cocaine. Less than a quarter of the subjects in the study who weren’t treated with acupuncture tested negative for substance abuse.

In 1989, a study was completed showing how severe alcoholics responded to acupuncture. Acupuncture therapy was used along with substance abuse counseling. A group of 40 people being treated for alcohol addiction received only substance abuse counseling while another group of 40 people also with alcohol addiction were treated using substance abuse counseling and auriculotherapy. For the group who received auriculotherapy plus substance abuse counseling, more than half of them finished the treatment program as opposed to fewer than 3% from those who received only substance abuse counseling. Half of the patients who were able to continue to receive acupuncture as a part of their treatment were more likely to remain sober long after completing the initial phase of treatment.

How Does Acupuncture Help People Get Over Their Narcotics Addiction?

Acupuncture needles stimulate blocked energy channels to open which leads to the normal functioning of the lungs, liver, and kidneys. When the channels are free of blockages, energy can flow more freely throughout the body and patients can then manage a lot of their symptoms much better. At the beginning of treatment, cravings tend to become stronger; acupuncture is powerful enough to overcome them. During the entire course of the treatment as patients complete their recovery program, they have to deal with stress, fear, anxiety, and other challenges. Acupuncture assists them by making these emotions more manageable by helping the body calmly deal with all of the negative emotions that may slow down the process of recovery. Patients completing treatment are still required to get acupuncture treatment and therapy and attend group counseling to increase chances of long-term sobriety.

At every phase of an addict’s recovery, acupuncture can provide certain benefits for him/her. Its ability to reinforce the natural response of the body to cravings and stress are but one of the many benefits of this treatment. When patients respond, it leads to quick healing. When acupuncture is incorporated into the treatment the chance of overall cure from addiction becomes very high.

Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture are Important Adjunct Therapies in Treating Addiction

Addictions are probably the biggest health problems facing the United States today. Surprisingly, the addiction to prescription drugs is a much bigger problem than the abuse of street drugs in the US. When we talk about addictions it can refer to behavioral addiction (addiction to gambling, food, pornography, TV, internet, etc) or chemical addiction (drugs, alcohol, tobacco addiction). Several various treatment modalities including counseling, group therapy, and twelve step programs can be used for addiction therapy. A couple of non-conventional treatments have demonstrated to be extremely effective in treating food, drug, tobacco, and alcohol addictions. These are Chinese medicine and acupuncture.

A huge and dramatic rise was seen in drug abuse and alcoholism starting in the 1960s all over the country. Based on statistics provided by the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, alcoholism is the most widely abused substance in the US. This country has about 18 million people addicted to alcohol in varying degrees. When it comes to drugs, the US has over 20 million people addicted to prescription and street drugs each year. Certainly, both alcohol and drug addictions are a huge problem in this country.

A complicated health problem that impacts the brain, addiction is marked by the person’s frequent desire to seek drugs or alcohol despite the person’s knowledge that they are harmful to his/her health. Long-term alteration of the chemistry of the brain can come about from addictions which often result in various mood disorders, anxiety, and the inability of the addict the think clearly. In a lot of instances, if the addict is unable to get what he/she is seeking for, the addict experiences the dreaded withdrawal symptoms of the addiction.

Treatments for Addiction

Western conventional medicine offers several different treatments for addiction including 12 step programs, one-on-one counseling, and group therapy. All these therapies seem to work most of the time helping addicts overcome or control their addiction. However, the biggest obstacles addicts face when using these modes of treatment are the tendency of the addict to experience relapses and the inability to suppress the cravings. Where these conventional therapies fail, Chinese medicine and acupuncture succeeds.

Chinese medicine and Acupuncture are complete medical systems by themselves. These two modalities can diagnose and treat health conditions. Both have been used in China and in other Asian countries for over 4,000 years. Acupuncturists have been curing addictions for that long. It was only in the early 70s that Americans have “discovered” acupuncture as a way of treating many kinds of body pain. It was also in the 1970s when the first addiction clinic was established in Lincoln, New York. This clinic integrated ear acupuncture in its treatment of drug and alcohol addictions. The clinic’s integration of acupuncture in the treatment of addiction was a huge success. Because of this, treatment centers and drug courts all over the United States have now included acupuncture as a complementary form of treatment for addictions.

Potentially all types of addictions can be treated with acupuncture but for the most part, it is used to treat drug and alcohol addictions. Acupuncture has the power to alter your body’s physiology boosting the self-healing capacities of your body. Acupuncture treatment can help resolve:

-Insomnia
-Anxiety
-Depression
-Muscle cramps
-Sweats
-Nausea
-Body aches
-Cravings
-Withdrawal symptoms

Addiction is best treated by a healing program that is holistic in nature. Yes, conventional therapies are essential but you also have to include Chinese medicine in the treatment lest the results of your treatment fall far below your desired expectations.

Nutrition and exercise are also important tools for addiction treatment.

Good nutrition is very important in attaining balance in your life. Try to consume a variety of food of different colors. Vegetables and fruits are vital more so as a means to detoxify your body. So, consuming lots of fruits and vegetables is imperative for treating addiction.

Qi gong and Tai Chi can help relieve anxiety and stress enabling you to more balance in your life.

All in all, one should remember that Chinese medicine and acupuncture combined with conventional therapies for drug and alcohol abuse are keys to effectively treat drug and alcohol addictions.

Scott Paglia is a licensed and board certified acupuncturist in Bellingham, WA and provides master level pulse diagnosis, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture in Whatcom County, WA.