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NADA Training

The NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) Protocol, developed by Dr. Michael Smith of the Lincoln Recovery Center in response to the heroin and alcohol addiction epidemic of the 1970′s, was also utilized for the clinical treatment of crack cocaine addiction in the 1980’s and 90’s. In the aftermath of the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, it was used at Ground Zero for the treatment of trauma and PTSD in 911 First Responders, proving its effectiveness in the field. Since then, the NADA Auricular Acupuncture protocol has spread to practitioners treating trauma, addiction and PTSD world wide.

Among the benefits reported by patients/clients and clinicians:

  • improved program retention
  • more optimistic and cooperative attitude toward the process of recovery
  • reductions in cravings, anxiety, and sleep disturbance
  • reduced need for pharmaceuticals

Clinicians trained in the NADA technique apply fine gauge, sterilized, one-time-use stainless steel needles just under the skin at five designated ear points in each auricle (outer ear). The needles remain in place for up to an hour while (in most circumstances) the client relaxes quietly in a comfortable chair. Ordinarily, groups of patients/clients sit together while undergoing the treatment. Clients in all types of settings –  inpatient, outpatient, incarceration, shelters, harm reduction and street outreach –  can utilize the treatment.

Beyond the actual needling treatment, a key element of the protocol specifies qualities of the clinician’s behavior and attitude known as “the Spirit of NADA.” Clinicians who wish to become proficient in the NADA protocol must study under a NADA Registered Trainer, usually by participating in a 30-hour classroom/didactic training course followed by 40 hours of hands-on work in a clinic. Clinicians learn the simple ear needling technique as well as methods for integrating the protocol into addiction, behavioral health and disaster response treatment settings. In many locations, clinical trainees gain practical experience at one or more treatment centers.

Upon completion of training, the trainee’s documentation is submitted to NADA for final approval and issuance of a certificate of training completion as an Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist, or Acu-Detox Specialist (ADS). In some states and countries, acupuncturists, doctors, nurses, and allied addictions professionals can earn an ADS Certificate of Training and complete their requirements for CE credits.

In the US, there is a wide range of eligibility for NADA training and clinical use. Those working in the fields of addiction treatment, behavioral health, or disaster response as counselor, social worker, nurse, corrections officer, psychologist, medical doctor, case manager, mentor, etc., may be able to add Acu-Detox to their skill base.

NADA has documented the following states and provinces as allowing some type of ADS practice: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Native American reservations, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Prince Edward Island.

Evan is offering NADA ADS training in the SF Bay area and at your location. Training can be week-long or over the course of two weekends. Please contact us for more information.

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