We visited CODAC East Bay at the invitation of Laura Levine, the clinic's Program Director. CODAC East Bay supports a more integrative model of addiction treatment, offering counseling, acupuncture detox, and tobacco treatment, as well as more traditional, medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction.
Rhode Island is one of the states hardest hit by the opioid crisis, and we feel it is essential that massage therapists step up to help address it. Indeed, Governor Raimondo's Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force Action Plan calls for the promotion of non-opioid therapies such as therapeutic massage to reduce the risk of opioid dependence. It is unsuccessful drug therapy for chronic pain management which can lead people to fall into opioid addiction in the first place. Thus, addressing that chronic pain through massage therapy can provide a crucial intervention in a person's recovery from opioid addiction. We would like to see massage therapy become a regular, reimbursed health service for people suffering from chronic pain as well as addiction.
The patients and staff at CODAC were thrilled to have us. In the short time we were there, we worked on a number of people suffering from chronic pain and stress. It was gratifying to see all the smiles and relief, and my students did a great job. Efforts led by CCRI massage faculty member Deb Luhrs and Laura Levine are underway to establish regular massage services at CODAC.