Acupuncture and Opioid Addiction

The opioid epidemic in our country is very serious and over the past decades, there have been several public deaths due to opioid and other prescription drug overdoses. Celebrities such as Prince, Heath Ledger, Anna Nicole Smith, and Tom Petty, to name a few, all died of bad combinations or overdoses of prescribed medications.

According to the Mayo Clinic, in some cases, it only takes a few days of use for people to become dependent on opioids, specifically. The CDC reports that 70,980 people died of drug overdoses in the US in 2019. Of those deaths, 50,042 involved opioids. As this is such a wide-spread problem, you may have personal experience with this terrible addiction, or know someone who is currently struggling with, or has died as a result of overdosing on prescription medications.

When prescribing medications to patients, Doctors do so believing in the drug's efficacy and ability to help their patient. What they may not know is that there are out-of-the-box alternatives, such as acupuncture, that can help reach the end goal of making a patient well and/or alleviate pain without relying on highly addictive substances which for some patients can have intolerable side effect. We all want to help you and yours stay safe and healthy, and acupuncture offers an excellent alternative to many pain "killing" pharmaceuticals.

We regularly receive calls from patients asking if acupuncture treatments can provide pain relief after an operation. The answer is YES! Acupuncture certainly can and does help aid in recovery time by helping reduce inflammation, increase blood flow to the affected area, reduce pain levels, and increase mobility. Furthermore, research supports that if you receive acupuncture prior to surgery, it can significantly decrease your need for opioids during recovery! In fact, this study shows a decrease of over 50% in the amount of opioids required in the first 24 hours after surgery when acupuncture treatments have been used.

We recommend using acupuncture to mitigate the risk of opioid addiction by including treatments in your pre- and post-operative care plan. If you or someone you know is scheduled for surgery, please give us a call so we can help in prepare the body prior to surgery, and assist in the recovery. We are here for your health!