Acupuncture & Addiction Recovery

Acupuncture & Addiction Recovery

Addiction is increasingly a major problem in the US. In this article we will explain how acupuncture can help with addiction and a specific protocol created to treat addiction, while also addressing some of the more addictive substances. Most importantly, what we want you to get from this article is that, if you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, there is hope.

Here is a list and brief description of some of the most addictive substances people have problems ridding themselves of:

CIGARETTES/NICOTINE: This is the number one substance addiction, people resort to acupuncture for. Cigarettes and other tobacco products are usually full of other toxic additives besides the nicotine and people who regularly smoke are at more risk for coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times, for stroke by 2 to 4 times, of men developing lung cancer by 25 times and of women developing lung cancer by 25.7 times. Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths (near ⅕ deaths) each year and is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

BENZODIAZEPINES: Valium and xanax are two examples of benzodiazepines. Using these addictive drugs for four months or more greatly increase the chance of addiction. Usually they are prescribed for a range of health issues, including anxiety, sleep disorders, and alcohol withdrawal. They provide a tranquilizing effect in the brain and can cause dizziness, drowsiness, poor coordination, and feelings of depression. There are fast acting and long acting benzodiazepines. Each are addictive but the fast acting ones tend to cause physical withdrawal much quicker. For example, xanax (a fast acting benzo) can become physically addictive within as little as one week of use.

OPIOIDS: Some examples of opioids are the illicit street drug heroin and analgesics such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine and fentanyl. All are incredibly addictive and have started an “opioid crisis” throughout the nation. Physicians and pharmacists are needing to more closely monitor patient prescriptions to make sure these prescription drugs are not being abused. In turn, some people truly in the need for pain killers, are lacking their go-to relief when they are suffering. Acupuncture is an effective alternative to a pain-killer without the addiction or negative side effects.

COCAINE & METHAMPHETAMINE: These are very addictive stimulants. Cocaine has been used medically as a local anesthesia for surgeries and methamphetamine is chemically similar to amphetamine which is used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. The street use is illegal and dangerous, leading to reckless, high risk behavior and very poor health outcomes.

ALCOHOL: Alcohol is not only toxic for the body but also a hard addiction to physically and psychologically overcome. Alcohol is a very socially acceptable addictive substance throughout the world. Since it is so normal to drink and such a big part of culture, media, advertising, social gatherings, celebrations, it makes it particularly difficult to avoid. When peer pressure is involved because everyone else is participating, willpower and inner-strength become even more important.

UNHEALTHY FOODS: From sweet to salty foods, food can be a serious addiction. Emotional eating and overindulging in comfort foods has become a real epidemic in the United States. Sugar is a neurotoxin that not only adds unhealthy pounds but damages our brain and other body tissues.

ACUPUNCTURE & ADDICTION

Acupuncture not only can help with detoxification of the body to clear the substance from the body quicker but it can also be very helpful at addressing the withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms when addicted to a substance (depending on the substance) can manifest as cravings, constipation, diarrhea, sweats, uncharacteristic behavior, aggression, anxiety, hypersensitivity to light/sound, insomnia, irritability, nausea, vomiting, numbness/tingling in extremities, tremors, trembling, seizures, tense muscles, nightmares, depression, paranoia and suicidal thoughts.

Acupuncture is able to help balance the emotions and deal with stress better. It releases serotonin and other endorphins that make one feel good. Sleep has been shown to also improve with acupuncture and herbal medicine. The GI tract can be healed to stop nausea, vomiting and bowel issues. The sinews and muscle channels can be released to help with any irregular movement or sensations in the body.

A well known protocol to help treat addiction is the NADA protocol. NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) created this protocol specifically to treat addiction, behavioral health issues, stress and trauma in a safe, affordable, group setting. The protocol consists of five points used in each ear (a total of ten points). Michael Smith, the leading pioneer in training others of the NADA protocol said, “the Spirit of NADA creates a zone of peace within so patients can begin to experience their own inner strengths.”

Lakewood Community Acupuncture (LCA) offers a three week addiction treatment package consisting of ten acupuncture treatments and three sessions of semi-permanent needles to wear outside of the clinic each week. LCA’s acupuncturists address the patient’s needs from basic to more intricate inner details that formed the addiction in the first place. It is strongly recommended to reach out to other resources if needed (ex. AA, narcotics anonymous, behavioral therapist, friends, family, hypnotherapist, etc).

OVERCOMING ADDICTION AS A WHOLE

Once someone has gone through the initial withdrawals and detoxification from an addiction it is important to stay balanced and healthy to prevent future relapse. Ridding yourself of negative people and avoiding high risk situations with your addictive substance present. Spending time with people that support you being sober is crucial. You don’t want to be around anyone who would pressure you into your addiction. Eating healthy, exercising and treating your body with respect helps to not want to partake in anything that could possibly hurt or damage what you have been working so hard at taking care of. Practicing self-love and developing responsible habits which may you feel good in a healthy way. Attending acupuncture sessions regularly, receiving bodywork, cupping, talking to supportive friends/family and possibly a therapists to process through any lingering emotions that need to be addressed.

ADDITIONAL HELP

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-4357. https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline.

If you are interested in receiving acupuncture for addiction, Lakewood Community Acupuncture has an Addiction Recovery 10 Treatment Package (click here to learn more).

Other Resources:


REFERENCES:

https://acudetox.com/

https://www.addictioncenter.com/benzodiazepines/valium/

https://www.healthline.com/health/addiction/xanax-addiction#dependence-vs.-addiction

https://www.asam.org/docs/default-source/advocacy/opioid-addiction-disease-facts-figures.pdf

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/cocaine

https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/index.htm

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/methamphetamine

Verified
Lakewood acupuncture isa great to help relieve pain and stress. Just after my first visit I immediately had less pain and more flexibility. The new office is super clean, very bright and private. Consistently have visited in the last several weeks and have seen dramatic results all therapist are extremely knowledgeable and friendly. Is hidden gem will change your life!
Matt Luby
Matt Luby
2021-03-28
Verified
LCA truly is wonderful. Jamie is incredibly intuitive with his acupuncture practice. As someone with chronic back pain, I am incredibly grateful of his expertise and caring touch. Their space is clean, safe and welcoming. Keep up the great work! You are appreciated!
Rachel Rowland
Rachel Rowland
2021-03-26
Verified
Jamie and Crystal are amazing practitioners! They are so knowledgable, warm and thorough. Their space is very relaxing and comfortable. I highly recommend LCA!
Maggie Berigan
Maggie Berigan
2020-12-02
Verified
Wonderful Acupuncture clinic! Great affordable care that can treat many different aliments. The staff is super caring and knowledgable.
Katie Cleveland
Katie Cleveland
2020-12-02
Verified
I have been seeing Jamie Holland for more than a year now and he is truly amazing. I work with my hands constantly and can honestly say he is the reason I can keep working without pain. Always great energy, great acupuncture and great cupping. He is incredibly detail oriented and has such a high level of compassion. Can’t recommend Lakewood Community Acupuncture enough!
Jacob Cohen
Jacob Cohen
2020-11-30
Verified
Jamie is one of the BEST acupuncturists I have ever worked with. Always calming and good hearted, he is a great energy to be around. Also always sleep better and feel less stressed after my appointments. I recommend everyone I know to see him!
Anna Miller
Anna Miller
2020-11-06
Verified
Jamie (co-founder + practitioner) is an incredibly kind and effective healer. As a person with three chronic infections, I am usually pretty hesitant to seek out new treatments. I am so glad I got over my fear and made an appointment with Jamie, however, because I finally feel like both my chronic pain and fatigue are much more manageable. Thank you for all you do, Jamie! I am beyond grateful for you and Lakewood Community Acupuncture as a whole.
Zascha Samuels
Zascha Samuels
2020-07-04
Verified
Crystal is sweet, knowledgeable, empathetic, nurturing and provides so much love in her acupuncture sessions here. I’ve been going here for months and I love the energy and intention of the space. Highly recommend!
Sara Watt
Sara Watt
2020-01-25
Verified
I went in for my first-ever acupuncture treatment, and Jamie was amazing! He was so helpful and thorough, and took the time to explain exactly what he was doing since I'm new to the practice. I also tried cupping for the first time here as well, and I noticed an immediate difference after the session. I'll definitely be back!
katherine Kelly
katherine Kelly
2019-10-21

Contact

7114 W Jefferson Ave, Suite 112,
Lakewood, CO 80235
(720) 242-9756
info@lakewoodacupuncture.org

Hours

Monday: 9am-6pm
Tuesday: 9am-6pm
Wednesday: 9am-6pm
Thursday: 9am-6pm
Friday: 9am-2pm
Saturday: 8am-1pm
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