Are there alternative approaches besides drugs for cocaine addicts? Can Qigong help with cocaine addiction? Why is Qigong effective?
WHY COCAINE ADDICTION IS HARD TO BEAT
According to the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 8.4 million Americans aged 12 or older reported trying cocaine at least once in their lifetimes. This represents about 3.4% of the U.S. 12-and-older population.
About 1.1 million Americans surveyed reported using cocaine within the past year and roughly 359,000 reported cocaine use in the last month.
Addiction to crack cocaine is one of the most difficult addictions to overcome. When it is inhaled the user’s body instantly begins the addiction process. After continued use, crack addicts begin to believe they cannot live without it.
Very few effective treatments are available to help control cravings and withdrawal symptoms among individuals undergoing therapy to overcome cocaine abuse. When a cocaine addict tries to quit, they’re often fighting serious withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Angry outbursts
- Muscle pain
- Intense cravings
WHAT RESEARCH STUDIES TELL US
Rescent results from a study of qigong therapyand cocaine addiction are published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. This study is a promising peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.
The research study involved two groups. All individuals were participating in a residential substance abuse treatment program. One group received qigong therapy, and the other group received a sham treatment of similar duration. Those in the qigong group reported significantly reduced cravings for cocaine when they were shown items related to cocaine use, and encouraged to view and handle these items. The qigong treatment group also reported significantly symptoms of depression than the sham treatment group. The assessment measures included the Cocaine Craving Questionnaire Brief (CCQ); Voris Cocaine Craving Scale (VCCS); Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory–State only; Beck Depression Inventory (BDI); Credibility/Expectancy Questionnaire; and Addiction Severity Index (ASI).
The research article is, “A Pilot Study of Qigong for Reducing Cocaine Craving Early in Recovery,” by David Smelson, Kevin W. Chen, Douglas Ziedonis, Ken Andes, Amanda Lennox, Lanora Callahan, Stephanie Rodrigues, and David Eisenberg, published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. February 2013, 19(2): 97-101. The researchers concluded:
“EQT (external qigong therapy)-treated subjects displayed a greater reduction in cue-elicited craving (p=0.06) and symptoms of depression (p<0.05) with medium effect sizes.”
“This study demonstrated the feasibility of delivering EQT among CD (cocaine-dependent) individuals early in residential treatment. Future research should include a larger sample and examine the mechanisms and potential longitudinal benefits of EQT.”
This article is written by Jean Voice Dart, M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University. Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.” She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.
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