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Ancient practice of acupuncture being used to help treat a modern day problem of addiction

In the town of Circleville, an ancient practice is now helping with a modern day crisis. (WSYX/WTTE)

In the town of Circleville, an ancient practice is now helping with a modern day crisis.

With each needle Doctor Jimmy Laux uses, he says it's reducing stress and depression.

"That's the beauty, that it's groundbreaking here in Ohio," Dr. Laux said.

Every week he meets a handful of patients at Pickaway Area Recovery Services. They've been recommended by the Pickaway County courts to try acupuncture. It's part of their treatment program in battling opioid addiction.

So does it work? Dr. Laux says, "Yes, yes!"

And Tiera Rapp agrees. Although she wasn't convinced at first.

"At first I was like, I don't know about all of that. How can that work?"

Rapp is on probation. She's been battling her addiction to pain pills and heroin for a number of years.

"I'm willing to do whatever it takes to stay sober and this was offered," Rapp said.

At the time, it was Rapp's fifth treatment. She says it's helped her fight her cravings. She says she no longer needs her drugs to feel at peace.

"Even though I was sober, I had anger build up inside of me, a lot of anxiety, but I've noticed with the acupuncture, even from the very first time, my anxiety seemed to go way down, " Rapp said.

Doctor Laux uses a five-point needle protocol. Five needles placed at different points in the ear corresponding with different points in the body to help balance a person's energy.

It's a 30-minute process. Each of the women get five needles placed in both ears. And 30 minutes is all Rapp says she needs.

"It's relaxing. It's calming," she said. "I can't explain how it works, but it just does."

The program is set up through the Pickaway County Court System. The acupuncture is only a part of a person's treatment program.

The county is using a grant to help pay for treatment if a person doesn't have insurance.

For more information about the program, click here.

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