Thursday, January 27, 2011
Addiction, Acupuncture, and the Army
Prescription drug abuse is a rampant problem in the civilian world, so it should come as no surprise that misuse of medication plagues a military that has been both physically and mentally drained over the past decade. Pain happens and narcotics can be used appropriately and effectively to treat and manage discomfort. Addictions frequently have a root in liberal prescribing practices, inability to deliver non-pharmaceutical pain management modalities, and underlying or untreated mental health disorders. However, we do live in an era where putting the blame solely on the prescriber or claiming ignorance of the abuse potential of the drug are becoming anachronistic excuses. Increasingly, VA and military facilities across the country are using CAM therapies like acupuncture, yoga, and meditation for treatment of PTSD, addiction, and pain. While this solider incorporated some modest acupuncture in his therapy, the fact he has shared his struggles and openly advocates for holistic approach to pain will help both the profession and the heros.