Acupuncture For Opioid Recovery
With so many people in the U.S. struggling with opioid addiction, it is not surprising that many are looking for alternative therapy options that can help overcome prescription pill dependency. Opioid addiction has become a devastating epidemic throughout the country and it is important to explore as many recovery options as possible to help people get sober again. As one of the most addictive types of drugs available, opioids require a lot of professional care and assistance for people to overcome their addiction.
Traditionally, psychotherapy and social support is the basis for recovery from addiction but with difficult substances like opioids a more holistic approach can be more effective. A person’s recovery involves more than just their mental health- it should incorporate healing techniques for their body and spirit as well. Therapies like acupuncture can prove to be a helpful complement to other traditional kinds of recovery treatments.
Western medicine has gradually begun to embrace eastern methods like that of acupuncture since it has proven to be helpful for all kinds of physical and mental conditions. People can use acupuncture to give them a feeling of healing, calm and better health that can be crucial for those in addiction recovery. It can also be used to fight cravings and triggers that create the danger for relapse.
What is Acupuncture?
While eastern philosophies and practices may seem foreign to us, they have proven to be beneficial in a number of ways. Acupuncture is based on the idea of improving energy flow by stimulating specific points on the body. Very fine needles are used to penetrate the skin and stimulate these areas in a way that clears blockages of energy.
The stimulation of the needles in the skin can help produce chemicals in the central nervous system that can help heal the body. Acupuncture is known to increase levels of serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and other chemicals that are part of the body’s reward system, pain management and general sense of well-being. Some researchers believe that acupuncture can even stimulate the body’s own “endogenous opioids” which can help replace cravings for opioid medication.
Acupuncture essentially can help the body produce its own chemicals that that help copy the euphoric feeling of wellness that one might get from using drugs. However, acupuncture is a safe and non-addictive method that promotes health and healing. It can reduce pain and stress, help improve sleep and create a feeling of relaxation.
Addiction Treatment and Acupuncture
Because acupuncture has been proven effective for a number of different health issues, many treatment centers offer acupuncture as a supplemental therapy. Rehab facilities that emphasize a more holistic approach to treating an addiction to opioids will most likely incorporate acupuncture along with other types of therapies like massage, meditation and relaxation techniques. The health of each patient in rehab is of utmost importance and these kinds of therapies are designed to treat the patient as a whole.
The reason it can be helpful to have a variety of different therapies available for opioid addiction is that each patient has unique needs. Many might respond more to acupuncture than other types of therapies that don’t seem to work for them. Having more options can mean better success for people that are struggling to recover from a difficult addiction.
People all have different life experiences, unique symptoms of addiction and withdrawal, personal emotional problems and triggers that affect them. Individualized treatment with multiple therapy options is more effective in treating the whole person and all the issues that they are dealing with. Acupuncture helps address specific physical and emotional issues that could be holding a person back from the healing process.
In order to combat opioid addiction, one of the most serious health crises that our country has ever seen, it is important for people to take advantage of all the treatment options available. Therapies like acupuncture can be used as part of a treatment plan in an effort to prevent relapse. Focusing on only one type of treatment is not likely to be effective for people that all have unique needs.
Although acupuncture alone is not enough to end an addiction, it can be a very useful addition to traditional treatment options like psychotherapy and medication. It can be especially helpful for people that have issues with pain that may have contributed to their opioid addiction and need for painkillers. Acupuncture can help treat pain by using the body’s natural ability to heal itself without addictive chemicals.
Acupuncture can be a great addition to a rehab recovery plan. It may not be the optimal treatment choice for everyone but some people may respond positively to the treatment and see better results. If you are attending a recovery program, find out if they offer acupuncture as an alternative therapy option.