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He’s On Methadone & Constipated…


AiR member 123peace posted a comment about her son's symptoms related to his methadone program:

"My son is living in a halfway house and is in a methadone program. He seems to be doing better, however, he has anxiety and of course constipation which comes along with the opiate?? use.

This past Friday he went to an acupuncturist for addiction, anxiety, constipation and what ever else. Today (Saturday) he called and said he feels that he is having good results from the acupuncture. The first thing he said was that he had a "good bowel movement today" – I just had to chuckle.

Just a thought that perhaps – acupuncture is a good supplemental aid, however, the acupuncturist did say that it is not a cure for addiction – but can help.

The cost was minimal and he feels that it is definitely a good tool."

Hello 123peace:  Thanks for sharing your experience with acupuncture.  Yes, methadone, like all opiates, can be terribly constipating.  We are not familiar with all the outcomes possible with acupuncture, but if it did relieve your son’s constipation this would certainly be an important finding for him.

Acupuncture has long been used to treat addiction. This article describes many of the studies that look at the use of acupuncture on addiction outcomes, such as cravings and drug use. Unfortunately, many of the studies are of poor quality and the outcomes have been mixed.

Still, acupuncture has a very long history and is relatively safe. I really appreciate your son’s willingness to try acupuncture and am glad he found the first treatment useful. It is heartening to hear that he is trying things to improve his condition and is hanging in there. Thanks for letting us know.



In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)