Addiction Programs

Addiction Programs

Alcohol Treatment and Recovery Program

The Problem

We cannot laugh, cry, or feel good about ourselves without making the right kind and amount of feel good brain chemicals, such as: dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. A shortage of these brain chemicals can result in an inner "craving". Such person may abuse anything that artificially stimulates the production of these pleasure brain chemicals.

A truly comprehensive treatment program must correct this chemical imbalance and address underlying factors such as psycho-somatic, emotional, spiritual or physical blockages.

Alcohol Treatment Plan

Treatment addresses both medical issues and rehabilitation, such as motivational techniques for abstaining from drinking, psychotherapy, detoxification, nutrient deficiencies and chemical imbalances.

We use a whole person approach which is designed to treat the 'whole person', physical, emotional and chemical aspects. These components are addressed through a program of Acupuncture, Nutritional Therapy, Botanical Medicine, and Homeopathy in conjunction with Counseling.

The Practitioner begins by performing a full assessment of the patient. This includes a case history, review of systems, physical exam, urinalysis, and appropriate diagnostic testing. Botanical Medicine, Nutritional Therapy and Homeopathy are then employed, in conjunction with a full assessment of the patient by a Registered Acupuncturist.

The Acupuncture assessment includes testing meridians, eye, tongue and pulse diagnosis and palpating areas of the body for tender spots. This assessment is important in detecting blockages and imbalances which are present, for an individualized treatment protocol.

Acupuncture & Auriculotherapy

Acupuncture is one part of the treatment program used to reduce cravings and other withdrawal symptoms, reduce anxiety and depression, and alleviate tremors and fatique related to alcohol withdrawal. It can also be helpful for liver repair. Acupuncture helps maintain sobriety and abstinence.

We use both body acupuncture points and auricular (ear) points that help to reduce both your cravings and your anxiety over quitting. Most will notice a sense of well-being and relaxation. Specific acupuncture points are believed to stimulate specific organs and bodily functions. For alcoholism, the fundamental treatment is to stimulate acu-points which are capable of transmitting messages down nerve pathways to the brain, and instituting change in the chemistry of appetite.

Addiction Programs

If alcohol is ingested long enough, the encephalins or brain chemical messengers make room for it and allow it to become necessary for the chemical balance. When the intake of alcohol is suddenly stopped, the chemistry is imbalanced and the brain is thrown into shock which causes withdrawal symptoms. The acupuncture technique basically rebalances the chemistry, thus avoiding withdrawal symptoms.

Owing to the deep acting nature of alcohol, the treatment takes longer and several more treatments are required to balance the chemistry. Acupuncture, though effective, is not a stand-alone treatment for alcoholism. Acupuncture treatments will remove the interference to the natural flow of brain chemicals, but it is still necessary to shore up the body's supplies of these substances, vital to addiction recovery.

Treatment Objectives

Withdrawal; early recovery; relapse prevention; detoxification.

  • Phase 1 - Withdrawal and Detoxificatlon: five main ear points for detoxification and withdrawal for 5 consecutive days with daily treatment, followed by 5 treatments on altemate days.
  • Phase 2 - Recovery: consists of needling five main ear points plus a reassessment and individualized body acupuncture based on differential diagnosis. 2 - 3 treatments per week are recommended for the next two weeks or earlier if complete remission has occurred.
  • Phase 3 - Relapse Prevention: 2 treatments are recommended for the first and second month following the Recovery Phase.

Nutrition, Botanical Medicine, Homeopathy and Psychotherapy are used in conjunction with Acupuncture to achieve the most successful results.

Nutrition

A well-balanced, nutritionally adequate diet helps to stabilize alcohol-induced blood-sugar fluctuations and decrease cravings. Following these tips can help reduce symptoms.

  • Eliminate simple sugars.
  • Increase complex carbohydrates.
  • Consume adequate protein.
  • Increase essential fatty acids.
  • Decrease saturated fats and fried foods.
  • Avoid caffeine.

Potentially beneficial nutrient supplements include the following:

  • Vitamin A (15,000 IU a day)
  • Vitamins B1 (50 mg a day), B2 (50 mg a day), B3 (25 mg a day), B5 (50 mg a day), Be (50 mg a day), B1: (100 to 1,000 mcg a day)
  • Vitamin C (1 ,000 mg two to three times a day)
  • Vitamin E (400 IU a day) to protect the heart
  • Magnesium (250 mg bid) to decrease withdrawal symptoms
  • Selenium (200 mcg a day) to protect the liver
  • Zinc (15 mg a day) to aid metabolism
  • Amino acids: carnitine to protect the liver, glutamine (1 g a day) to decrease cravings, glutathione (300 mg a day) to protect liver and heart
  • Chromium to help reduce sugar cravings and reduces low blood sugar related to alcohol cravings.
  • DL-phenylalanine (the addiction treatment king), and other amino acids help to restore the 'brain reward cascade' and the body-wide sense of well-being it induces.
  • Chinese herbs are also used to aid in detoxification and reducing the cravings associated with withdrawal.
Addiction Programs

Herbs

The use of certain herbal remedies may offer relief from symptoms, cleanse and nourish the affected organs. After a careful evaluation of the history of an individual, the appropriate herbs may be suggested:

  • Milk thistle: to support the liver
  • Dandelion: helps detoxify the liver. Works well with milk thistle.
  • Kudzu (Pueraria Iobata) reduces cravings
  • Skullcap (Scutellaria Iateriflora): historic use for hysteria, tension, and nervous disorders, especially anxiety; a cup of tea before bed can help insomnia.
  • Dessicated liver capsules (500 mg three times a day) help heal liver tissue.

Homeopathy

After a thorough assessment the practitioner will suggest individualized homeopathics. Some of the most common acute remedies are:

  • Arsenicum album for anxiety and compulsiveness, with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Nux vomica for detoxification and expedite the withdrawal of substance; also for irritability and compulsiveness.
  • Lachesis for cravings for alcohol, headaches, and difficulty swallowing
  • Lycopodium for low self-esteem, heartburn, impotence.

Follow Up

After initial care, a complete physical examination and check up should follow, at least 6-12 weeks.