Resources for Acupuncture in Chemical Dependency Treatment and Recovery
Frequently Asked Questions
How long to clients have to keep having treatments?
(scroll down for answer)
The organization that is primarily
responsible for the contribution of acupuncture to the addiction treatment
field is the National
Acupuncture Detoxification Association. It is a well-acknowledged
shortcoming that the name implies that acupuncture's use is exclusively
in the treatment of acute withdrawal. Some funders have unfortunately
taken this quite literally, and will not reimburse for acupuncture beyond
the first 30 days.
While it is true that acupuncture
is an elegant and effective tool in the acute withdrawal phase, it also
has enormous benefit in the subsequent phases of recovery. As seasoned
treatment professionals know, the most important goal in alcohol and other
drug treatment is client retention. In order to retain clients
in treatment, programs must have strategies for addressing post-acute
withdrawal in order to help prevent relapse. The classic post-acute withdrawal
symptoms - the cycle of craving, anxiety, and depression, and sleep problems
that can continue for months and even years following the person's last
Acupuncture is effective in
reducing and sometimes eliminating all of these post-acute withdrawal
symptoms. In the optimum program, acupuncture will therefore be available
to clients indefinitely, and they will be welcome to return for "tune-up"
treatments even past discharge or "graduation" from the program.
Some programs have clients still coming to acupuncture who have been sober
for two and three years.
When people begin going to 12-Step meetings, a common question is, "how long to I have to come here?" One answer that is sometimes given is, "You have to come until you want to come." Acupuncture is similarly a "client-centered" therapy. Its benefits are highly subjective, and clients quickly become experts in how it works for them. The program's responsibility is to make the treatment available to its clients "as needed" with no time limits, and to encourage people to "keep coming back!"
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