NADA, which stands for the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association, was established in 1985 to promote the NADA protocol acupuncture treatment for addiction. The non-profit organization promotes advocacy and the use of a non-verbal, pharmaceutical free approach to behavioral health. The protocol uses five specific acupuncture points on the ear to treat addiction and to be an alternative to methadone.
The NADA protocol differs slightly from other acupuncture treatment. The treatment usually involves needling in both of the patient’s ears for about 30 minutes. The treatment is done in a group setting for support for those being treated as they recover from addiction.
The NADA protocol is about more than just acupuncture, but really about being a step in a sometimes long road to recovery.
Patients are treated in a quiet, peaceful room. Each patient gets the exact same treatment. Group treatment is emphasized to address feelings of denial and create an open, safe environment.
Those in recovery from addiction commonly report feelings of an improved sense of purpose and well being after treatment. Acupuncture is known for its relaxing benefits, which is especially helpful for those in recovery. Patients are able to destress in their treatment process to help them continue to make progress.
Most common effects of the NADA protocol include:
- Improved retention of rehabilitation programs
- Improved mood and outlook
- Lowered anxiety
- Lowered cravings
- Improved sleep
- Reduced need for prescription medication
There are a lot of factors that come to play in addiction treatment. Along with counseling, support groups and/or 12-step programs, the NADA protocol can help make recovery easier and more successful.