While using the old practice of acupuncture for the treatment of drug addiction may be a relatively new concept, there are rehabilitation facilities in the United States which claim that it is a very effective form of treatment. With so many stories of successful recovery, acupuncture could well be the preferable form of treatment for those who are struggling with drug addiction. It can give new hope to those who have not been able to overcome their addiction problems.
Auricular acupuncture is the specific type of acupuncture which is now being used in drug addiction treatment. This particular type of acupuncture involves the placement of acupuncture needles in the ears. The points where the needles are placed are believed to correspond with the lungs, liver, and kidneys. As these organs are largely responsible for retaining or eliminating toxicity from the body, auricular acupuncture is believed to greatly aid in detoxification. Auricular acupuncture is also said to reduce the withdrawal symptoms generally associated with detoxification. When this is successful, it makes detox much easier and not as uncomfortable for the person who is experiencing it.
When auricular acupuncture is utilized in drug addiction treatment, it must be stressed that it is only one part of treatment. There are other parts of treatment, both during and after, which are necessary for drug addiction treatment to be successful.
Detoxifying the body and relieving withdrawal symptoms are important components in treatment, but there are others that are also essential. First, rehabilitation facilities which use auricular acupuncture may state that this form of alternative medicine is a matter of holistic medicine. Holistic medicine means that the focus is on the individual person’s entire state of health. The purpose is to return the person’s body, mind, and the spirit, all to their optimum state of health. The better a person’s overall state of health, the less likely he will be to return to using drugs. In addition to the acupuncture, he may benefit from massage therapy, learning how to practice yoga, and similar activities.
Rehabilitation facilities which practice auricular acupuncture for drug addiction treatment also recommend follow-up activities. Participation in the popular 12-Step Programs is one example. Keeping the individual in good health, and minimizing his risk of relapsing, can work if the person is willing to take the follow-up activities seriously.
Using auricular acupuncture for drug addiction treatment first began in Hong Kong in 1972. The practice came to the United States shortly thereafter. The first hospital in the United States to practice this form of treatment for drug and alcohol problems was New York City’s Lincoln Hospital. While acupuncture has been a traditional form of alternative medicine in China for many centuries, it has only been used in the United States as a treatment for drug addiction during the last few decades. As more and more rehabilitation facilities have elected to use this form of treatment, it can be seen as a positive step in the treatment of drug addiction. It can give people the chance to have healthy lives without drugs.