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Alternatives to Opioids

Acupuncturists Without Borders has launched a national program to address the Opioid Crisis through specialized trainings and treatment protocols provided by licensed acupuncture practitioners in authorized clinical settings.

The urgent need for non-pharmacological alternatives to opioids drives this effort which will include:

  • specialized trainings led by a pharmacist/acupuncturist who has devoted her career to this issue

  • teaching of unique, opioid response treatments that provide a time-tested alternative to the prescribing of pain medications

  • working with families and communities impacted by this crisis

  • support for creation of clinics around the country to address this crisis\partnerships with others in Oriental medicine doing this work

  • partnerships with allied health professions

  • national media outreach and education

Community Service Clinics

AWB’s Community Service Clinic Program grew out of its Military Stress Recovery Program, which offers treatments for stress and trauma to veterans, active military and their families. Each community service clinic affiliated with AWB serves a unique audience within the local community, including populations such as: elders, people with limited access to healthcare and refugees.

Military Stress Recovery Program

The Military Stress Recovery Project (MSRP) provides free acupuncture treatments for veterans, active military personnel, reservists and their families. 
 The MSRP began in 2006 with a pilot clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and currently includes over 30 AWB-affiliated clinics across the country.

AWB created the MSRP program during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan because so many soldiers and veterans were suffering the effects of trauma without effective treatment within the military medical system. Pharmacological treatments for post-traumatic stress (PTS) have been shown to be relatively ineffective and can create chemical dependence with devastating side effects, including increased suicide rates. AWB has pioneered the use of acupuncture as a safe, effective, non-pharmacological therapy for returning soldiers that fills this trauma treatment gap.

Clients at MSRP clinics experience benefits such as a full night’s sleep for the first time in years and fewer bad dreams. They experience improved mental clarity, less anxiety and depression and a renewed interest in social relationships and community. Many subsequently report that they are able to reduce medication dosages for a wide variety of symptoms that are co-morbid with stress and post-traumatic stress, including pain and insomnia.

The potential of this program is enormous. History has shown that the long-term impact of war takes a tremendous toll for decades. By providing free acupuncture to veterans who have recently returned from war, we can play a part in preventing history from repeating itself. By offering treatment for veterans from previous wars and conflicts, we take part in helping mend the psychological wounds of the past.

The beauty of acupuncture is that it is a simple, low-cost modality offering immediate, effective, easily accessible support for large numbers of people. It can also work harmoniously with other more conventional treatment modalities such as counseling and medication.

If you are interested in getting involved with the Military Stress Recovery Project please send an email to veterans@acuwithoutborders.org.

Recent Domestic Relief Efforts

Puerto Rico Relief Update – Clinic #3

Puerto Rico Relief Update – Clinic #3

Report from Puerto Rico's earthquake zone: AWB clinic #3 Penuelas 02/01/2020 From AWB Trip Leader Ramon Serrano: It's when the sun goes down that the terror begins. Another sleepless night for the 171 people still living under tarps in the makeshift community inside...

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AWB Veterans’ Clinic Treats Deported Vets in Tijuana

AWB Veterans’ Clinic Treats Deported Vets in Tijuana

The InnSpot, a veteran-owned clinic in Sand Diego affiliated with AWB''s Military Stress Recovery Project, brought trauma-healing treatments to deported US military veterans on Saturday, January 18th. InnSpot coordinator/owner Guy Page, himself a veteran, organized a...

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AWB’s Trauma Healing in Puerto Rico Continues

AWB’s Trauma Healing in Puerto Rico Continues

PUERTO RICO EARTHQUAKE RELIEF UPDATE #2...from Ramon Serrano, AWB Clinic Coordinator in Puerto Rico: Clinic #2 Yauco, Puerto Rico January 18th, 2020 Click here to read about our first clinic. Our second venture into the earthquake zone coincided with a health fair...

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AWB Provides Treatments to Puerto Ricans after Earthquakes

AWB Provides Treatments to Puerto Ricans after Earthquakes

This is an update from Ramon Serrano, L.Ac., who coordinates AWB service work in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria. He is reporting from Guayanilla, Puerto Rico - January 11, 2020. On my way to Guayanilla at 8 am, another tremor measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale...

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AWB returns to Matamoros, MX to treat refugees

AWB returns to Matamoros, MX to treat refugees

Please check out this USA Today article written about this trip. This report comes from Diana Fried, Founder & Co-Executive Director, who just returned from Matamoros: Just back from Matamoros, Mexico, an area where the bridge between the US and Mexico meets land....

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