Acupuncture & Addiction Recovery

by Crystal Jancovic, LAc, LMT

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:

acudetox.com/

addictioncenter.com/benzodiazepines/valium/

healthline.com/health/addiction/xanax-addiction#dependence-vs.-addiction

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

drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/cocaine

cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/index.htm

drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/methamphetamine


Michelle Astringer
Michelle Astringer
2024-03-26
I have been working with Jamie 2x per week for the past couple of weeks. He is extremely attentive, understanding and thorough. I was nervous to start with acupuncture because of my herniated disc and fear of needles but he has made the experience feel very safe and comfortable. I’ve noticed a decrease in pain after suffering for over a year. Highly recommend!
Dani Zocante
Dani Zocante
2024-03-23
We learned about this facility years ago, and try to do a session every week, both practitioners are fantastic!
ashley snider
ashley snider
2024-03-05
My first visit to this clinic was incredible. I found it to be educational, supportive and a step in the right direction for my health. Jamie was attentive and provided helpful information and recommendations. Already have a treatment plan underway and my next appointment booked! Highly recommend for anyone interested in acupuncture and what it has to offer.
Carrie Butler
Carrie Butler
2024-01-24
Jamie was amazing! He was so nice and very knowledgeable. It was my first time getting acupuncture and he explained each step and what to expect. I would definitely recommend him.
Ginny
Ginny
2023-12-30
Crystal was able to get me in quickly. Highly recommend.
Sarah Llerena
Sarah Llerena
2023-12-14
I recently had an incredible experience at this place, and I don't even know where to begin. I found myself in unbearable back pain, unable to stand up straight, and unsure of what caused it. Fortunately, I was able to schedule a prompt appointment, and Jamie's expertise was truly amazing! After receiving both cupping and acupuncture treatments, I noticed a remarkable improvement right away and within just two days, i was 95% back to my normal self. Don't hesitate to book an appointment here—it made a significant difference for me.
Linda Pissare
Linda Pissare
2023-12-10
Wei is a professional and really cares about treating your specific issues.
Thomas Najar
Thomas Najar
2023-11-20
Great service at a good price. Convenient location, knowledgable staff, clean and inviting clinic.
Tracy Carr
Tracy Carr
2023-11-10
This is the best place ever! I get cupping and acupuncture when my back starts acting up and leave feeling like 50 pounds was lifted off my back. Crystal and Jamie are very thorough in their questions to understand what’s going on and the treatment they provide. And the prices can’t be beat. 10/10
Liz Spanos
Liz Spanos
2023-11-10
I have been going to Lakewood Community Acupuncture for over a year and can’t imagine my life without it now!! It can truly help with so much - from physical pain (I have issues with my pelvic floor and multiple herniated discs) to emotional blocks, energy deficiencies and more! I ALWAYS feel better after acupuncture. I’ve seen all the practitioners and they are all extremely skilled, but Crystal is my go-to. She is not only very gentle and effective but always a delight to connect with. For the quality of service, atmosphere and price, you cannot do better. It’s been a game changer for me. Wholeheartedly recommend!!

Contact

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

Hours

Monday: 9am-6pm
Tuesday: 9am-7pm
Wednesday: 9am-7pm
Thursday: 9am-7pm
Friday: 9-7pm
Saturday: 9am-3pm
Best Acupuncture in Lakewood
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram