Putting needles in your ear to fight addiction; Delaware detox center turns to acupuncture
As Delaware battles with the opioid epidemic, one addiction treatment center in the state is looking to acupuncture to help drug users kick the habit.
The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) trained eight staff at Connections CSP in Dover this week.
Acupuncture detox involves sticking five needles into a person’s ear and leaving them there for about a half an hour.
It reduces cravings and withdrawals while increasing a sense of calmness, according to Libby Stuyt, president of the NADA board and a psychiatrist who uses this method of treatment in Colorado.
“The biggest thing that people seem to like is that it helps them sleep. One of the biggest problems for people when they stop using drugs or alcohol is that they have difficulty sleeping,” Stuyt said.
Acupuncture also allows people in recovery to get more out of additional treatment therapies, according to Sara Bursac, executive director of NADA.
“They will get more out of counseling and 12 step groups they might be attending when they integrate this natural treatment into their array of services,” she said.
Acupuncture detox can also reduce or eliminate the need for withdrawal medications like suboxone or methadone, according to Bursac.
There aren't additional costs for using acupuncture detox. Once staff members at addiction centers become trained specialists, they can use this treatment as they see fit.
Delaware is one of about two dozen states that allows addiction center staff to use NADA's acupuncture detox therapy protocol.
A free acupuncture stress relief clinic is being held at 801 N. West St. in Wilmington Thursday, May 4 from 1:00 p.m. to 5 p.m.