Acupuncture as an Alternative to Opioids
Pain medication prescriptions are at an all-time high and alongside it, the opioid addiction rate also increases. Opioids are a good form of pain relief when taken as prescribed but if they are abused they are one of the most addictive types of analgesic available. As more and more people are prescribed them the medication has become more freely available and thereby open to abuse.
Why is it being called an ‘ Opioid Epidemic’?
As addiction rates have risen so have deaths directly related to overdose and now the overdose rate for prescription opioids have overtaken those of heroin. The risk is now well known but the numbers still go up. The reason for this because many people underestimate the risks of drugs if they have been prescribed by a doctor and consider them to be safe. While an opioid works well to block pain it also gives the user a sense of euphoria so it is easy to look at the benefits of the drug whilst simultaneously ignoring the potential risks. If opioid drugs are used incorrectly or for long periods the user develops a tolerance and requires higher and higher doses to maintain the same effect.
Of course, many people use opioids and never become addicted however, once tolerance starts to develop a person can rely on the drugs to feel normal, they become dependent and from there, addicted. If someone has a long term painful condition they are more prone to addiction than those who only need them for a short time.
As rates of addiction rise, overdose-related deaths have skyrocketed. Prescription opioids are How Acupuncture can offer an alternative to painkillers
As the risk of opioid use become well-known people are looking for safer alternatives and are starting to turn towards holistic methods of managing their pain. Many have found a useful substitute by using acupuncture and there are many reasons why people prefer it to conventional medication.
It is more natural: Painkilling medications mask the pain; acupuncture stimulates the body to promote healing. The human body is designed to heal itself and acupuncture assists this.
It is effective: while pain killers relieve the pain by temporarily masking it, they do not cure the underlying cause. In 29 studies pain levels were reduced by 50% using acupuncture. The results of the studies which involved 18,000 people were published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.
Acupuncture can be used for multiple conditions: The treatment is used to treat many conditions, from mental health disorders like anxiety through to physical problems like menstrual cramps.
No negative side effects: Acupuncture has no side effects, it does not produce euphoria or cause withdrawal symptoms. Many who have used opioids in the past report unpleasant side effects including nausea, vomiting, fainting and dizziness.
It is safe: In our culture, we are constantly bombarded with pharmaceutical products to manage pain. Opioids remain a good form of pain relief but more people are looking at the risks and then moving over to safer solutions. Even if a person is using opioids for pain management acupuncture can help with dose reduction and withdrawal.
Some people find the idea of acupuncture worrying but it is worth consideration because it is risk-free. It does not have any of the negative physical or mental effects associated with opioids that can often outweigh the undoubted benefits of taking the drug.
A skilled acupuncturist can help a client cope with any worries and anxieties and it will likely continue to grow in popularity as a viable alternative to opioid-based products. If you help with addiction Contact Us at The Last House.