When my husband and I were woken at 1:30 AM to learn that our son had overdosed and was found on the side of the interstate our lives were thrown into chaos as we entered a new reality that felt more like a hazy nightmare. He was saved with three shots of NARCAN, but our hopes of his recovery would ebb and flow during the following year as he went in and out of recovery centers, jail, and half-way houses.
After decades of experience helping patients traverse recover from opioid dependency, I knew the power and effectiveness of natural therapies for this condition; but even I, an experienced doctor and expert in the field, could not convince the family at large to support my treatment strategy. They wanted for him to get “real addiction treatments”, which meant rehab centers and step programs.
As anyone who has experienced the frustration of having an adult child who has become addicted to opioids learns, you do not have much control over an addict’s actions. Any hope for positively influencing the decisions of an addict requires a cohesive family front. Our family ended up cracking under the strains of the addiction and could not effectively communicate, much less cooperate.
I now realize that writing the book was my way of coping and processing this tragedy. But the larger original goal was to create a tool that those suffering from addiction and their loved ones could use to understand how acupuncture, herbs, and other natural therapies can ease suffering in the withdrawal stage, and contribute to a full and successful recovery. I also wanted to provide my colleagues with a guidebook that they could offer to patients in an acupuncture clinic.
As it turns out, the book far exceeded my goals and expectations. My research unearthed over 200 recent studies demonstrating the value of acupuncture as an evidence-based therapy for opioid treatment and pain reduction; the book is heavily referenced with scientific studies that would wow the most critical skeptic. Now, those advocating acupuncture for opioid dependency recovery have an easy to understand resource and those searching for answers can find them.