What Has Been the Role of Acupuncture Amidst the Opioid Crisis?

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The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has identified drug overdose as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, with 20,101 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers and 12,990 overdose deaths related to heroin use in 2015. People all over the United States have been attempting to find alternative, holistic solutions to chronic pain due to the epidemic. Acupuncture is considered a form of complementary medicine used to alleviate pain and to treat various mental, physical, and emotional conditions – as such, it is becoming a more popular tool for both those who want to avoid taking opioids and for those detoxing from them.

Many people detoxing from opioids are turning to holistic treatment methods such as acupuncture to assist them in their recovery. A 2016 study published in the Eastern Asian Archives of Psychiatry found that acupuncture accelerates a person’s endorphins and encephalin productions in addition to up-regulating the dynorphin level, suppressing withdrawal at the spinal level. Overall, it was found that acupuncture could assist in depressive and anxiety-related withdrawal symptoms. In general, acupuncture has been known to treat musculoskeletal problems such as back and neck pain, as well as issues such as nausea, migraines, insomnia, and more.

For those seeking a route other than opioid medication for their pain, acupuncture shows promising results; this treatment method has been shown to increase the levels of various chemicals in the body, such as epinephrine, endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. An increase in these levels is what contributes to the pain and stress relief that many people report. Although many people are advocating for these benefits, research is still being conducted on the efficacy of this method for the prevention and treatment of opioid addiction. If you are in a reputable treatment program for addiction, however, acupuncture could be an excellent therapy method to complement your treatment regime.

If you’re currently struggling with opioid addiction, make the decision to seek help today. By participating in a treatment program, you can develop tools towards living a happier, healthier life.

Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.






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