Dr. Langevin was recently interviewed by Vermont Public Radio as part of a story exploring whether acupuncture can be used to help relieve pain, and thereby, reduce opioid use. The story reports on how the State of Vermont is funding a $200,000 study “to see if making acupuncture accessible to Medicaid patients is feasible — and useful”.
VPR: The idea isn’t to use acupuncture to treat addiction — though that’s not unheard of — but instead to investigate if acupuncture could be useful in treating chronic pain, as a way to avoid or reduce reliance on opioid medicines.
While it is not without controversy, there is growing evidence that acupuncture can be effective for some types of pain relief.
Dr. Langevin argued that acupuncture “may be helping the tissues heal, in addition to dulling the pain, because the problem with an opiate that you take is that you have temporary pain relief, but the underlying problem is still there. Whereas in a technique like acupuncture, there’s at least the potential for helping people actually heal.”
As acupuncture is increasingly considered a viable option for pain relief, Vermont legislators want to explore how it could impact the lives of others — particularly those living below the poverty line.