SpiritSpring Acupuncture & Herbs - AcuDetox
SpiritSpring - it feels good to feel better
The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) certifies an auricular (ear) acupuncture protocol to assist with drug & alcohol abstinence. As a no-nonsense, non-verbal, pharmaceutical & barrier-free approach to behavioral health", the philosophy is "Keep it Simple, Routine & Predictable"

The NADA protocol is based in biologic & psychosocial science, and Chinese medicine.  Lincoln Rehab Hospital (Bronx, NY) was the first to use the NADA protocol for inpatient acute detox in the 70s. The need for medication was completely eliminated when the protocol was available on-demand, 24-hours a day.

Where and By Whom?
The NADA protocol is now used in alcohol & drug, and harm reduction programs nation-wide, beneficial even when not available 24-hours on demand. The service is called AcuDetox in formal social service settings where ancillary staff are trained as AcuDetox Specialists (ADS). Such entities may receive grants to support the service! Prominent Social Service Entities in New Mexico incude:

By Law, ancillary (unlicensed) staff only needle the 5 NADA ear points which are calming, regulating & detoxifying. Since the strongest effects of needling the 5 NADA points last about 2 hours, ADS then place ear seeds for acupressure stimulation in between treatments. Licensed acupuncture professionals may treat more than the 5 NADA ear points (see Acu video).

How Long and How Much? 
An AcuDetox treatment lasts 20 to 60 minutes and generally costs $0 to $10 depending on the program [see Free & Low Cost sites in NM]. Example schedule:

  • 1+ treatments daily (acute Detoxification Stage)
  • 5   treatments a week for 2 weeks (Detoxification & Recovery)
  • 3   treatments a week for 3 weeks (Recovery Stage)
  • 2   treatments a week for 3 weeks (Recovery & Maintenance)
  • 1   treatment a week for 6 weeks (Maintenance Stage)

In general, Chinese medicine recommends AcuDetox 1 to 3 times weekly for 3 to 10+ weeks after acute detox to reduce the risk of recidivism. Thereafter, how long one desires it or finds it beneficial for other complaints such as reducing narcotic use for chronic pain is highly individualized. 

Acu-Detox does not replace therapy, counseling, or groups; and does not include case management, referrals, or crisis intervention. But it is part of this overall support network. Support also includes SleepMix Tea specifically developed for NADA to assist with insomnia, and SSAH's Functional & Chinese Medicine dietary & supplement plan for the physiologic depletion caused by addiction.

Lori Kelsey DOM is NADA-trained.
She completed the Acu-Detox internship at Healthcare for the Homeless, MATS, and La Plazita Institute in Albuquerque, NM, under the supervision of Public Health Acupuncture of New Mexico. See Blog post.

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NADA protocol Dr Smith
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