The MHS has shown increasing interest in acupuncture as an alternative to opioids for pain control following a recent a study examining acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating pain, PTSD, insomnia, stress and even addiction.
During the study, conducted at a USAF medical center, opioid prescriptions decreased by 45%, muscle relaxants by 34%, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs by 42%, and benzodiazepines by 14% and quality of life measures showed impressive positive changes in military personnel.
" Acupuncture is an effective, safe, and cost-effective treatment for numerous types of acute and chronic pain; acupuncture should be recommended as a first line treatment for pain before opiates are prescribed." according to a recent report.
To cope with the opioid crisis, various federal regulatory and oversight agencies, including the FDA, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), and the Joint Commission have started to advise or mandate that healthcare systems and providers offer non-pharmacologic treatment options, including acupuncture, for pain control.