When you are looking at different treatments to complement your rehabilitation program, you might hear about acupuncture. How does acupuncture work as an addiction treatment? Is it successful, and should you pursue it as part of your holistic treatment program?
What is Acupuncture?
While you may have heard of acupuncture, you may not have experienced it yourself. Acupuncture is a holistic form of complementary medical care that involves pricking the skin with needles. The premise behind acupuncture is that these pinpricks target areas responsible for physical and emotional health. The pinpricks stimulate endorphins. The therapy is supposed to move energy in the body, leading to pain relief, better energy and mood, and improvements in the functions of the body.
Does Acupuncture Work for Drug Treatment?
Acupuncture is available at some treatment centers as a complementary treatment. It is not meant to be the only drug treatment therapy, but if you add it to your toolkit of techniques for recovery, it does look like it has a positive impact.
Many studies have had solid initial findings that acupuncture is helpful in addiction recovery; however, studies of this type have been small and inconsistent, and replicating the studies has not always led to the same results. Whether or not acupuncture works for everyone in addiction recovery is still up for debate.
Promising Uses for Acupuncture
While acupuncture may not have a lot of studies that determine whether it does or does not work, there is interesting new discussion about acupuncture as a specific tool to work on opioid addiction. Why could acupuncture help those in treatment? Forbes states that “researchers believe acupuncture can replace opioids through stimulating the production of the human body’s “endogenous opioids” – using the body’s own chemistry to mirror or exceed the benefits of synthetic drugs without the risk of side effects.” Inserting needles into the body stimulates nervous system chemicals such as enkephalin, epinephrine, endorphin, serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine.
Those who become addicted to opioids may begin that addiction with a prescription for opioid pain medication. Those health conditions and their treatment can lead to much more serious problems in the future as people struggle with an addiction to pills and then to drugs such as heroin. Acupuncture can help with sleep and pain management, and for those avoiding pills due to past drug addiction, it can also be a treatment that helps those in recovery stay in recovery in the long term.
Acupuncture also has promise when dealing with the physical and emotional impacts of withdrawal. For those who are suffering from the side effects of withdrawing from drugs or alcohol, this pain-management and body-healing solution can help.
Recovery from addiction requires a team approach. At Advanced Recovery Systems, we are on your team. We offer medical assistance with the initial rehabilitation process and a wide variety of inpatient and outpatient programs, including aftercare. Contact us today to learn more about admission to our Ohio drug rehab center.