acupuncture instead of opioids

Why Acupuncture instead of Opioids?

Why not Acupuncture instead of Opioids?

Six acupuncture organizations have put together a white paper referencing the important values of acupuncture as a safe and choice alternative to opioid based pain medication for pain relief.

White Paper titled: Acupuncture’s Role in Solving the Opioid Epidemic: Evidence, Cost-Effectiveness, and Care Availability for Acupuncture as a Primary, Non-Pharmacologic Method for Pain Relief and Management

Partial Abstract: The United States is facing a national opioid epidemic, and medical systems are in need of non-pharmacologic strategies that can be employed to decrease the public’s opioid dependence. Acupuncture has emerged as a powerful, evidence-based, safe, cost-effective, and available treatment modality suitable to meeting this need.

Here are some highlighted points extensively detailed in the report:

  • “Acupuncture is an effective, safe, and cost-effective treatment for numerous types of acute and chronic pain. Acupuncture should be recommended as a first line treatment for pain before opiates are prescribed, and may reduce opioid use.”
  • “Acupuncture’s analgesic mechanisms have been extensively researched and acupuncture can increase the production and release of endogenous opioids in animals and humans.”
  • “Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain involving maladaptive neuroplasticity.”
  • “Acupuncture is a useful adjunctive therapy in opiate dependency and rehabilitation.”
  • “Acupuncture has been recommended as a first line non-pharmacologic therapy by the FDA, as well as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in coping with the opioid crisis. The Joint Commission has also mandated that hospitals provide non-pharmacologic pain treatment modalities.”
  • “Among most non-pharmacological managements for pain relief now available, acupuncture therapy is the most effective and specific for opioid abuse and overuse.”

White Paper
acupuncture instead of opioids white paper

6 Acupuncture Organizations:

The American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA)
The American Alliance for Professional Acupuncture Safety (AAPAS)
The Acupuncture Now Foundation (ANF)
The American TCM Association (ATCMA)
The American TCM Society (ATCMS)
National Federation of TCM Organizations (NFTCMO)


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