Does Acupuncture Benefit Recovering Addicts?

Life in recovery is not a simple one. It is easy but involves certain awareness and discipline that can be difficult to master at times. In the beginning, you are given guidelines and suggestions to follow by fellow addicts that are in recovery. You apply these to your everyday life until it becomes a routine; the routine that keeps you from picking up a drink or a drug.

This routine eventually becomes that, routine. Soon enough it becomes second nature, habit; you don’t even need to think about what comes next. This is where it can get dangerous. You can become complacent and when there’s a bump in the road you may be taken by surprise and not know what to do.

This can be dangerous and if you don’t use the basic coping skills that you may have learned in treatment or therapy, you could revert to old habits that got you through those bumps in the road. Which could lead to relapse?

Does Acupuncture Benefit Recovering Addicts?

Addiction is a Chronic Disease

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. These brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a “relapsing” disease—people in recovery from drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug.

Through years of addiction, most of us have tried many different ways to get our drug of choice. We did whatever it took to get our next high. We also may have tried many different drugs until we found the one that “worked” for us. We didn’t have any hesitation and that is how we have to treat our recovery. We have to try many different ways and take many different suggestions until we find what works for us. We may have also, besides taken suggestions from fellow addicts in recovery, researched other ways that may benefit recovering addicts. One that, is a more holistic approach, is called acupuncture.

Can Acupuncture Help With Addiction?

Being an ancient Chinese art and healing method, acupuncture uses the manipulation of various points on the body to treat a variety of health concerns. In tradition, acupuncture involves sterilized long and thin needles that are inserted into the skin at key points to help stimulate healing. However, other treatments, such as massage, heat therapy, cupping, and topical herbal medicines are also used in acupuncture.

Abusing drugs creates an imbalance that affects the physical and mental health of anyone who suffers from addiction. Acupuncture’s goal is to restore balance to the mind and body by easing an addict’s symptoms that may be uncomfortable and may cause a relapse. The following way acupuncture may benefit a person in recovery is by promoting the production of dopamine. The release of dopamine can aid a recovering addict in the event of withdrawals or a person in a long time recovery that may be having a bad day and needs the relief of stress.

There have been many studies on acupuncture used alone and used alongside other forms of treatment such as therapy and other forms of fellowship. It is concluded that although acupuncture may have its benefits for recovering addicts, it cannot be effectively used only on its own. Therefore, to receive benefits of acupuncture you must also involve other forms of therapy such as:

  • Fellowship
  • Service work
  • Read recovery-oriented literature daily
  • Continuing drug treatment
  • 12 step meetings
  • Engage in healthy hobbies such as cooking, exercising, arts and crafts, etc
  • Journal your thoughts and feelings.
  • Call a friend or family member, don’t text
  • practice prayer and meditation daily
  • Do whatever works for you and keeps you in the present moment

We Are Here to Help

Recovering from addiction and remaining sober can be very difficult if done without medical guidance and supervision. Apart from medical support, you also need the support of family and friends to attain lasting recovery. Plugging into Garden State Treatment Center’s relapse prevention therapy in New Jersey will help you to be held accountable throughout your recovery journey. Don’t forget that recovery is a lifelong commitment and you need the support of our specialists to start seeing the difference you crave for.

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, feel free to contact Garden State Treatment Center today to speak with one of our specialists and to also learn about how the relapse prevention therapy that we offer in New Jersey can help you.