Resources for Acupuncture in Chemical Dependency Treatment and Recovery
Frequently Asked Questions
Is acupuncture appropriate for mandated or court-referred clients?
acupuncture protocols we describe were developed and flourished in programs
targeting clients referred by social services, probation, and the courts.
Indeed - until quite recently - there was more financial support for acupuncture
in the United States from criminal justice sources than from conventional
substance abuse or public health sources. One early outcome study actually
found that acupuncture worked better with "resistant" and "mandated'
clients than with those who were "self referred!"
These protocols - which were
established by the National
Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) - were used in the first
"Drug Court" established in Dade County, Florida, in 1989 (see
article Why Drug Courts Work). The
NADA protocol includes unique therapeutic daily urine
testing, and - through its network of Registered Trainers - NADA provides
consultation and support in educating referral agencies on strategies
for retaining clients in treatment during the early relapsing stages of
One problem has been noted in mandated programs in which the acupuncture is the only non-required or elective activity offered. Many clients in such settings are prone to decline any activity if it is the only one in which they have a choice! It is therefore recommended that participation in acupuncture be treated the same way as participation in other program elements.
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