SAN FRANCISCO, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) can serve as an alternative treatment for opioid-related disease, Sam Xian Huang, honorary president of American Association of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture said Sunday.
Opioid abuse has become a big problem of the American society as the drug causes a large number of deaths in the United States each year, and the federal government and American people have been working hard to find a solution to this social threat, Huang told Xinhua after the opening ceremony of an international academic symposium on the TCM, which kicked off here Sunday.
On average, 130 Americans died every day from an opioid overdose in 2017, according to a report of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A study, issued in February by the weekly medical journal JAMA Network Open, showed that opioid-related deaths in the United States increased fourfold in the last two decades.
The fight against opioid abuse provided a good opportunity for TCM development as acupuncture, which is a key part of the TCM, has been considered a top alternative for the non-medicinal therapy for the treatment of pain, Huang said.
The TCM has been legalized in the United States for more than 40 years, and this is the first time that acupuncture has been taken into consideration for optional treatment for pain-related disease, for which many Americans intended to use opioid as a relief solution, Huang said.
Huang was attending the Fourth North American Summit of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies and the 16th San Francisco International Symposium on Chinese Medicine.
Hundreds of TCM practitioners, scholars and professionals from both China and the United States participated in the international event to exchange their views and experience in TCM practice and development.