What’s this Nonsense about Acupuncture and Opioids

Jermaine Delgado Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Dr Chelsea Wynter ND, LAc. is Chief Acupuncturist at 6th Sense Health and Wellness Center

Since invention, opioid drugs were hailed as miracle cures for chronic pain. It took society years to realize that the harm we were doing by taking these seemingly inconspicuous little pills was of worse consequence than the pain itself. Could it be that the answer to the complex problem of opioid misuse might be something as simple as a technique we have been using for generations? Could acupuncture be the thing that you choose instead of periods? We took a closer look to find out.

The Problem with Opioids is…

…That they are highly addictive. The National Institute on Drug Abuse classifies these prescription painkillers as fentanyl, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Codeine, Morphine and many others. The addiction of these substances often begins through the management of a genuine health problem which leaves the recipient in long-term pain. It is fairly easy to see how someone who has been relying on high strength pain medication for a prolonged period of time might become addicted to it. Nowadays Doctors are a little bit more cautious about prescribing these drugs than they used to be.

It’s completely understandable that, while in the height of chronic pain, we would turn to chemical means. After all…anything prescribed by a Doctor must be good for you, right? Wrong. According to the CDC some 40% of all opioid related deaths in the US in 2016 were caused by the use (or misuse) of prescription opioids. That scary statistic comes on the back of new regulations to control the drug – because the government are well aware of the facts and are actively fighting back. This article by the NCBI will keep you up-to-date on both State and Federal law on the use of these drugs.

The problem with opioids is that they are just so damned effective. But what if we tackled the substance abuse problem with a healthy alternative… say, perhaps, one that our ancestors used for generations?

Replacing Opioids with Acupuncture!

To get to the root of the problem we need to start at the beginning – the place where addiction begins. Usually (at least 40% of the time) by helping the individual to manage their long-term, chronic pain symptoms without resorting to the use of opioid drugs. If we can educate people about the pain-relieving benefits of acupuncture before they become unwell then they are much less likely to become hooked on prescription pain killers in the first place.

We turned to Evidence Based Acupuncture for some data on just how effective Acupuncture is as an alternative method of pain management. They cite a case in 2016 which saw the largest study of its kind ever conducted. Of 454,920 patients treated with acupuncture by more than 8.000 physicians; a full 76% of recipients found that the effect on their chronic pain was marked or moderate. 76%… Acupuncture has the ability to minimize opioid prescription and actually save lives… all we need to do is trust in it!

So can we replace Opioids with Acupuncture? Maybe not all of them… but three quarters is a hell of a lot more than none.

Nike Roach MS, LMBT is a former US ARMY Combat Medic, Co-Founder, Chief Wellness Officer of 6th Sense Wellness Group, and a 25+ year health and wellness advocate for improved outcomes in patient care.

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