The Newsday opinion published on Sept. 26 about helping addicts stay sober motivates me to express my unfathomable feelings on this diabolic addiction global epidemic. What stood out to me most in the commentary was criminal justice and addiction treatment cost lots of money and addiction destroys a lot of lives. I was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has claimed that his “only sin” is the killing of thousands of people during his war on drugs.

I serve victims with substance abuse or dependence on alcohol, prescription painkillers, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and nicotine. I feel that this disease does not discriminate. People deceived by this addiction epidemic suffer physically, socially, economically and spiritually. Health professionals use a plethora of innovative western behavioral health modalities and other complementary therapies that may help alleviate or mitigate this crippling affliction of body, mind and spirit.

The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA), a not-for-profit training and advocacy organization, encourages community wellness through the use of a standardized ear acupuncture protocol for behavioral health, including addictions, mental health, disaster and emotional trauma. NADA is a nonverbal approach to healing that involves the gentle placement of up to five small sterilized disposable needles into specific sites on each ear in a group setting for 30-45 minutes. NADA ear acupuncture is clinically effective, cost-efficient, drug-free and compatible cross-culturally. It can easily be established within behavioral health, addictions or disaster relief settings or in any location where a group of people can sit together. The combined application of acupuncture with counseling, education, medical support and self-help groups such as AA and NA enhances opportunities for success.

Depending on state laws, NADA can train EMTs, first responders, health care providers, nurses, addiction and harm reduction counselors, mental health therapists, social workers, correctional officers, drug court personnel, disaster relief teams and trauma center staff acupuncturists and medical doctors. I am a licensed practical nurse, integrative aromatherapist certified and an acupuncture detoxification specialist. I earned my NADA certificate in Wyoming. I taught my husband how to perform the five-point ear acupuncture and he executes the task well. For those people who have needle phobia, acupuncture beads may be used in place of needles.

I hope that Nebraska state laws and regulations will include the practice of the NADA protocol by non-acupuncturists. I hope that NADA acupuncture protocol may help addicts get sober and may be an adjunct therapeutic answer to combat all forms of addiction.


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