The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (www.acudetox.com) certifies an ear acupuncture protocol to support drug & alcohol abstinence. This protocol, which is based in psychosocial & biological science and Chinese medical theory, is well researched as a non-verbal, pharmaceutical-free, and barrier-free approach to behavioral health.
Lincoln Hospital (Bronx, NY) was the first to eliminate the use of pharmaceuticals during in-patient acute detoxification when the NADA protocol was made available on-demand 24-hours a day. The protocol now benefits alcohol & drug, and harm reduction programs even when not available on-demand. The treatment of these 5 ear points within a social service or healthcare setting is called AcuDetox.
Entities can have licensed staff or unlicensed ancillary staff certified as AcuDetox Specialists (ADS) and receives grants to support an AcuDeox program. By law, ADSs only treat the 5 ear points under the intermittent supervision of a licensed acupuncturist. Licensed acupuncturist can treat the 5 points and more without supervision.
Prominent entities in New Mexico offering AcuDetox include La Familia/ Healthcare for the Homeless, La Plazita Institute, Metropolitan Assessment & Treatment/MATS, Indian Health- Jemez Pueblo, Taos County Drug Court, and Crossroads Community Support Healthcare. AcuDetox also extends to acupuncture & primary care clinics, residential detox facilities, psychiatric hospitals, jails & prisons, disaster/trauma centers, and 12-step programs.
The NADA philosophy is "Keep it Simple & Routine",so a referral and in most cases an appointment isn't needed. There is no monitoring, with exception of DUI Drug Court participants who may be given the option or be mandated to participate in a scheduled program. A grant-funded program may note substance of abuse and then record severity of detox symptoms before each treatment (HIPAA compliant) to anonymously track utilization & outcomes of the program in general.
The 5 NADA ear points are calming, regulating & detoxifying. The strongest effect last about 2 hours, so ear seeds are placed for continuous stimulation in between treatments. NADA’s herbal SleepMix Tea (available online) is for the insomnia experienced while detoxifying specifically from drugs & alcohol. A treatment lasts 20 to 60 minutes, and the cost is typically free or $5.
At any stage of abstinence, AcuDetox is part of an overall network to minimize crisis & recidivism. It does not replace medical / mental-health care, counseling, case management, or crisis intervention. It is recommended daily to on-demand during the Detoxification & Recovery Stages. During the Recovery & Maintenance Stages it is recommended 1 to 3 times a week for 3 weeks. Thereafter, how frequently one desires it or finds it beneficial is individualized.