I approved several comments a few minutes ago. I have some ambivalence about the acupuncture post… on one hand I do not personally believe that acupuncture– something I do happen to ‘believe in’– has any promise for treating addiction. On the other hand I learned long ago that there is nothing to be gained by standing between a patient and his/her ‘alternative medicine caregiver’. There is no way to convince a person who takes nutraceuticals that they are wasting their money; there is no way to convince a person that the chiropractor simply cannot move vertebrae around (he can’t!); and there is no way to convince a person that the acupuncture treatment is not going to fix his addiction.
I remember an argument when I was an anesthesiologist, with a nurse midwife who was telling patients that infants don’t feed as well if the mom gets a labor epidural.  I asked her to show me the research, and she gave me a review article that listed a number of articles– they all failed to show a significant difference from epidurals.  The last sentence of the article in ‘nurse midwifery’ journal:  ‘even though the studies did not show a significant effect, an infant who cannot feed is certainly significant.  For that reason, epidurals should be avoided’.  How can a person argue with that?!
Addiction is very complex;  the factors that play into addiction include genetics, family-of-origin dynamics, early life experiences (including experiences as an infant and toddler), environmental stressors and exposures, personality factors… and I’m just getting started.  The issue of ‘eliminating toxins’ is misleading.  The amount of recovering from addiction that consists of of ‘eliminating toxins’ is probably less than 1%– if that much.  The problem with addiction is the urge to use that comes back over and over, sometimes years down the line– when there are certainly no ‘toxins’ left over to worry about!  On the other hand, the memory traces of using DO persist.  To illustrate:  if I take you to the neighborhood where you grew up 30 years after you moved away, would you be able to find your old house?  Of course!  Why would that memory stay, and the memories behind your opiate use fade away?
My roommate in treatment would say, in relation to things he and his wife did while using– things that eventually led to their divorce: ‘there are some things a person sees, that cannot be unseen’.  He is correct.  When I think about that, I realize that we all should protect our brains from some of the images that are out there for the ‘seeing’.  If one is concerned about ‘toxins’ in the brain, I think the greatest concern should be for toxic images, as they will stick around far longer than chemicals.

1 Comment

Ethel Huizar · September 17, 2018 at 1:26 pm

>I do not personally believe that acupuncture– something I do happen to ‘believe in’– has any promise for treating addiction
Definitely not… I suppose it might be able to help you with the “symptoms” of quitting (or withdrawal symptoms), but there’s just no way acupuncture is going to affect an addiction directly.

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