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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

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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2019 Military Stress Recovery Project Update

2019 Military Stress Recovery Project Update

Download the PDF of this update here! Since 2006, Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB) has trained over 6,000 licensed acupuncturists to offer trauma-healing treatments to people affected by disaster and human conflict. Many AWB-trained practitioners have gone on to...

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Update on AWB California Border Project

Update on AWB California Border Project

Since January 2019, AWB has been working at the US-Mexico border to bring trauma healing treatments to migrating people and community volunteers. Our work began in Texas, and has expanded to California, where AWB volunteers have taken two week-long service trips since...

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Volunteers Needed for Sonoma County Fires

Volunteers Needed for Sonoma County Fires

AWB & Integrative Healers Action Network (IHAN) are looking for licensed/certified integrative medicine and health practitioners with malpractice insurance AND administrative support staff to volunteer at an Integrative Health Clinic we are setting up inside the...

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Holistic Primary Care Reports on AWB’s Border Work

Holistic Primary Care Reports on AWB’s Border Work

The publication, Holistic Primary Care, has published a fantastic article outlining AWB's work at the Texas/Mexico Border. AWB member Nam-Thu Tran initiated this relief effort right after taking our Healing Community Trauma course. Please read and share!...

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