Monday, September 26, 2005

Alternative health therapies reduce substance abuse

In July, UBC announced that research has shown that acupuncture treatment can be used to reduce substance use among addicts in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). Acupuncture was offered to residents of the DTES on a voluntary, drop-in basis five days a week. Over 2,700 treatments were given over a three-month period at two locations in the DTES. Subjects reported a reduction in overall use of substances in addition to a decrease in intensity of withdrawal symptoms. Participants who attended the treatment reported a reduction in severity of withdrawal symptoms that included shakes, stomach cramps, hallucinations and suicidal feelings. Patricia Janssen, an Assistant Professor of Health Care and Epidemiology, remarked “A reduction in symptoms can provide a window of opportunity for users to become engaged in more comprehensive and long-term approaches to addressing their addictions”