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Non-narcotic Care & Help for PTSD in Veterans

We have long known that the overuse of opioids can lead to an increased risk of suicide. Read on to learn more about the research being conducted in the fields of non-narcotic care to help alleviate symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and chronic pain.

Soldier and his daughter embracing

Suicide Prevention

Concerned Significant Other Engagement Guide

This guide was developed in partnership with over 25 CSOs, researchers, providers (like Healing Warriors Program), and veterans who donated their time, feedback, and expertise, offering practical recommendations on how to effectively involve CSOs in veteran suicide prevention research and programming.

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PsychArmor Suicide Prevention Digital Toolkit

PsychArmor’s Suicide Prevention, Intervention, and Postvention digital toolkit provides free social media shareables to prevent and address suicide among the military service members and Veterans in your community

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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

SAMHSA provides suicide prevention information and other helpful resources to behavioral health professionals, the general public, and people at risk.

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Pain Management

Army Looking at Yoga, Acupuncture to Treat Pain

The Pain Management Task Force’s final report, which was initiated by Lt. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker in August of 2009, addresses the lack of a comprehensive pain-management strategy across the Army, and suggests alternative treatments to medication such as acupuncture, meditation, biofeedback and yoga. Also noted in the report is the fact that pain management has changed very little since the discovery of  morphine in 1805. Schoomaker explained that with the increasing numbers of Soldiers returning from combat with severe wounds, reports of medication abuse and suicides with pain as a possible factor are troubling.

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Chronic Pain in Veterans and Service members with a history of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A systematic review

Examination of pain and TBI.  While not much research exists around the impacts of TBI and suicide, this evidence map identifies that a relationship does exist for increased suicide risk and more study needed in this area.

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US Army MEDCOM Pain Management Initiative

Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) Recommendation: Authorize and implement a comprehensive strategy that manages pain and optimizes function. Include alternative therapies and provider and patient education

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Acupuncture in the ED Cuts Pain, Reduces Stress, Anxiety, Medscape Neurology News

Acupuncture in the emergency department (ED) setting relieves pain, cuts stress and anxiety, and is acceptable to the
majority of patients, new research shows.

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Military turns to Acupuncture as an Alternative to Prescription Pain Killers, Stars and Stripes

“…I think we realized with some of the tremendous injuries these folks have … we certainly want to find an alternative to help them out, to eliminate or reduce their use of pain medication,” said Col. Dominic DeFrancis, medical corps director for the Air Force Surgeon General.
“Acupuncture,” he says, “has few side effects and no apparent drug interactions, and it works quickly – allowing some troops with pain to return to duty faster…”

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Treatment Findings

CranioSacral Therapy and Visceral Manipulation: A New Treatment Intervention for Concussion Recovery

Concussion is a common football injury. According to NFL injury statistics released for the 2017 season, this type of head injury is becoming more common with an increase of more than 13 percent in 2018. The effects of concussion often extend far beyond the acute stage of injury, and athletes seek out many forms of treatment to deal with them, such as
CranioSacral therapy.

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Preservation of immune function in cervical cancer patients during chemoradiation using a novel integrative approach

Patients receiving chemoradiation for cervical cancer are at risk for distress, chemoradiation-related side-effects, and immunosuppression. This prospective randomized clinical trial examined effects of a complementary therapy, Healing Touch (HT), versus relaxation training (RT) and usual care (UC) for (1) supporting cellular immunity, (2) improving mood and quality of life (QOL), and (3) reducing treatment-associated toxicities and treatment delay in cervical cancer patients receiving chemoradiation. Sixty women with stages IB1 to IVA cervical cancer were randomly assigned to receive UC or 4×/weekly individual sessions of either HT or RT immediately following radiation during their 6-week chemoradiation treatment. Patients completed psychosocial assessments and blood sampling before chemoradiation at baseline, weeks 4 and 6.

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Acupuncture and Immunity

PIn summary, this issue provides different evidence presented by diverse authors covering several topics related to advances in acupuncture for inflammation or immune diseases. As inflammation is the coherent pathophysiologic progress in many kinds of diseases, immune system and response of the human body are influenced in diseases such as cancer; the anti-inflammation effect of acupuncture may be a very important underlying mechanism of acupuncture in treating diseases.

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NADA: The 5 point Ear Acupuncture Protocol in Opioid Treatment, Elizabeth Stuyt, MD Medical Director Circle Program, Colorado Mental Health Institute

Analysis of longitudinal urine toxicology data indicated – 
NADA auricular acupuncture protocol was significantly 
more effective in reducing cocaine use than either the 
relaxation control (P= .01) or the needle insertion control 
(P= .05). 
Patients who completed the 8-week course of acupuncture 
abstained from cocaine significantly longer during 
treatment and were more likely to be abstinent at 
completion than either of the control conditions (P<.05).

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