Acupuncture therapy for drug addiction PMC


Alcoholics often struggle to realize or admit that they have a problem because drinking alcohol is a socially acceptable behavior. Many people use alcohol as a stress reliever or a mood enhancer, as it often allows people to relax. Lincoln Detox staffers were forced to move to a new building—a “dump” purpose and structure of oxford house with no heat, according to Mitchell. In the new building, Lincoln Detox abandoned methadone in favor of acupuncture alone. In addition to auricular, or ear, acupuncture, addicted clients were asked to drink a tea called “Sleep Mix”—a blend of chamomile, catnip, peppermint, skullcap, hops, and yarrow.

acupuncture for addiction

The Urinary Bladder Channel on the other hand, connects the kidney with the Urinary Bladder and it is the most important system coupling the interior to the exterior according to the classical theory in Chinese Medicine. In particular, the Du Mai has the principal role for the treatment of mental diseases, febrile illnesses, and musculo-skeletal problems. Clinical observations showed that the acupoint-stimulation on the Du Mai effectively alleviates the withdrawal symptoms, such as muscularskeletal pain, perspiration and anxiety. Acupuncture using points located on Du Mai tonifies the Qi which maintains normal functional activities of the body . In oriental medicine, the human body is considered to be a complex network of intricately related processes played upon by opposing forces . Health is viewed as the maintenance of balance and harmony between Yin and Yang, while illness is an expression of unbalance and disharmony between Yin and Yang.

The clinic is linked to the University hospital in Örebro and serves about 880 unique inpatients and 1100 unique outpatients a year. In order to receive treatment at the AC patients have to have substance abuse and comorbid psychiatric problems, assessed and confirmed by psychologist and psychiatrist assessments and recurrent urine tests. The primary outcomes anxiety (Beck Anxiety Inventory; BAI) and insomnia (Insomnia Severity Index; ISI) were measured at baseline and at follow-ups 5 weeks and 3 months after the baseline assessment.

Yang CH, Lee BH, Sohn SH. A possible mechanism underlying the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of drug addiction. The weakness of this review is the lack of available high-quality data and the results should be interpreted with caution because of the lack of well-designed, high-quality randomized controlled studies. Many studies did not use standard treatment protocols, objective diagnostic criteria, standardized outcome measures, and effective assessment methods. The methodological quality and the description of the studies were poor in the majority of studies. Studies receiving a high methodological quality score produced interesting results. Two studies received high methodological quality scores but failed to report auricular acupuncture effectively.

Cigarette addiction

Finally, that November, a five-hour protest by the Young Lords, Black Panthers, and their white supporters forced the administrators of Lincoln Hospital to agree to set up an inpatient drug-treatment program. Alvarez, who was then in his mid-20s, and his friends made banners out of bedsheets and took to the nearby shooting galleries to recruit patients. Cigarette withdrawal symptoms were measured, including depressed mood, irritability, restlessness, hunger, difficulty concentrating, and constipation along with the urge and the strength of urge to smoke. During the 3-week treatment period, more than 60% of individuals experienced more than 1 withdrawal symptom and most of them had the problem of hunger. The overall mean score was around 8 to 10 (score range, 6–30), meaning that the participants were tolerating the withdrawal symptoms reasonably well.

In Western countries, acupuncture began to be known in the middle of the 1970s, yet its acceptance has increased rapidly. Many Western patients turn to acupuncture along with conventional medical therapy to make sure they are utilizing all possible medical options. For the past 40 years, a number of studies of acupuncture applied, as a medical technique, to the treatment of heroin, alcohol, nicotine, and cocaine addictions have been reported. This review systematically assessed the clinical evidence for and against acupuncture as a treatment for drug addiction.

What happens to your body after acupuncture?

The most common side effects of acupuncture are things everyone wants: better sleep, more energy, mental clarity, better digestion and less stress. One or several of these side effects occur routinely for many, many acupuncture goers.

Conformation of acupuncture’s role for homeostasis by manipulating and balancing Yin and Yang was shown, when the body’s innate homeostatic potentialities are overwhelmed by acute-or chromic-stress conditions. Unlike methadone treatments, acupuncture is a natural procedure that has no side effects or addictive qualities. Now, practitioners from Lincoln Memorial Hospital include acupuncture as part of their comprehensive drug rehabilitation plan that also incorporates counseling, urine testing, and a 12-step group therapy program. The success of acupuncture in treating addiction has even spurred some courts to order acupuncture treatments as part of a comprehensive drug rehab program. According to Petrakis, research has shown that acupuncture is effective for addiction treatment. “The best evidence is when used as an adjunctive treatment for opioid detoxification,” she explains.

Opioids and opiates

Acupuncture needles are either manipulated manually or via an electrical stimulator, that is, “electroacupuncture” . New methods for stimulating the acupoints include applying electric current to skin electrodes over the points, directing a laser light onto the points, or using finger pressure to massage selected points . Scalp acupuncture therapy appears to improve neurological deficits in patients with acute intracerebral hemorrhage . Modern research is confirming the efficacy of auricular acupuncture for analgesia and anxiety-related diseases .

Does acupuncture affect the brain?

Acupuncture can induce brain activation with improvement in certain neurotransmitter ratios, contributing to a more relaxed state. This sense of calm can help one sleep better at night.

However, this sham group also showed a prominent reduction in cigarette consumption as did the active treatment group using known acupoints with targets. It is uncertain, whether the sham points also elicite stimulation on applying pressure. One has to realize that the sham points are in fact very near the target points. Our study did not show significant results between the acupressure and sham group. Though acupuncture can aid a patient struggling with addiction, it should be understood that it is not a cure but a great tool toward recovery.

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Acupuncture reduces alcohol withdrawal syndrome and c-Fos expression in rat brain. Jiang YP, Liu H, Xu P, Wang Y, Lu GH. Effect of electro-acupuncture intervention on cognition attention bias in heroin addiction abstinence-a dot-probe-based event-related potential study. Fallopa P, Escosteguy-Neto JC, Varela P, Carvalho TN, Tabosa AMF, Santos JG. Electroacupuncture reverses ethanol-induced locomotor sensitization and subsequent pERK expression in mice. Chang B-H, Sommers E. Acupuncture and relaxation response for craving and anxiety reduction among military veterans in recovery from substance use disorder. Cabioglu MT, Ergene N, Tan U. Smoking cessation after acupuncture treatment. Get started by speaking with one of our compassionate treatment specialists.

acupuncture for addiction

One patient may find instant results from migraines or other physical ailments whereas another patient can see little to no change. But again, because there is so little risk involved, acupuncture is gaining wide popularity for a number of different issues. Every acupuncture therapist has a different and unique approach, with many blending Eastern and Western treatment philosophies. In order to determine the type of acupuncture treatment that will benefit you the most, your expert may ask detailed questions about your lifestyle, medical history, and behavior. Holistic ideas refer to treatments or approaches that speak to the “whole person,” The focus is on both the mind and body and seeking healing for both/and. With trends pointing towards more “natural” options, these holistic approaches are becoming more popular and being offered regularly.

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Once the exogenous opiate level declines, the endogenous system fails to adapt to the normal needs for homeostasis. The resulting dysfunction initiates the withdrawal symptoms and yearning desire for exogenous ‘refill‘ of opiates . Ismene Petrakis, MD, Chief of Psychiatry at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, directs the world-renowned Yale Department of Psychiatry training program in addictions. She says medical students and practitioners have become increasingly interested in learning about alternative treatments and how they can be incorporated into medical practice. Shi J. LU L. Traditional Chinese medicine in treatment of opiate addiction1.

How long do acupuncture results last?

The benefits of acupuncture can last for weeks, months or, even up to a year in some cases. However, this depends entirely on the condition that your patient is being treated for, the severity of their symptoms, and their medical history. Some may see longer-lasting benefits than others.

Subgroup analyses were performed with respect to the amount of cigarette consumption, attitude toward quitting , and dependence of nicotine . None of the outcomes including successful rate of discontinuation of smoking, cigarette reduction, and withdrawal symptoms reached statistical significance between the baclofen efficacy in reducing alcohol craving and intake active and sham group at 7 days post treatment. However, the participants with more determination to stop smoking achieved the greatest magnitude in success rate and percentage of cigarette reduction. The treatment for Heroin Addiction include detoxification, substitutional therapy and symptom control.

Here are 5 examples of addiction problems that acupuncture can help treat. He wasn’t a believer in acupuncture at first, but he feared being kicked out of the program and sent to prison. So, he figured, sure, “you can stick me with a pin that doesn’t hurt.” Sixteen years of being stuck with pins has convinced him acupuncture works. After his prison sentence was done, he stayed on at Penn North as an intake staffer. In the mid ’90s, the Duggans and some co-acupuncturists launched Penn North near one of the city’s busiest drug markets. One man appeared to give himself a silent pep talk; another held out his hand, as though ready to receive something from the sky.

EA at Shenshu attenuated the expression of the proto-oncogene c-Fos in the central nucleus of the amygdala . Acupuncture at Shenmen inhibited neurochemical and behavioral sensitization to morphine how to beat alcoholism as a midlife adult by decreasing dopamine release in the NAc . Acupuncture at Shenmen significantly suppressed morphine-induced increase in locomotor activity and Fos expression in the NAc and striatum .

In summary, neurochemical and behavioral evidence have shown that acupuncture helps reduce the effects of positive and negative reinforcement involved in opiate addiction by modulating mesolimbic dopamine neurons. Moreover, several brain neurotransmitter systems involving opioids and GABA have been implicated in the modulation of dopamine release by acupuncture. However, many unanswered questions remain regarding the basic mechanisms of action of acupuncture. Future research could better determine the influence of acupuncture therapy on the regulation of dopamine and other neurotransmitters. This method was later adopted in many clinical settings in Western countries, using a protocol developed in 1985 by the head of the US National Acupuncture Detoxification Association , Dr. M. Smith. The NADA protocol describes the insertion of 5 needles without the use of electrical stimulation bilaterally into the outer ear or auricle at points termed sympathetic, shenmen, kidney, lung, and liver.

  • In many cases, drug addiction starts with a prescription medication that becomes a habit.
  • Li J, Zou YH, Ye JH. Low frequency electroacupuncture selectively decreases voluntarily ethanol intake in rats.
  • Moreover, the carbon monoxide breath test only indicates recent exposures of smoking (it has only, 6–9 hours short half-life, and faces rapid disposition).

In fact, a study done in 1989 showed that acupuncture, used in conjunction with other treatments such as psychotherapy, can be almost twice as effective at treating addiction as traditional therapy alone. Although most of the articles from China reviewed herein have favorable outcome, the type of intervention and needling methods were different between the studies from China and Western countries. Most studies from China used body acupuncture to treat opiate addiction whereas studies from the other countries used auricular acupuncture to treat opiate addiction. In addition, there are various differences in the auricular acupuncture system in different countries. These findings are intriguing considering that these body and auricular points exhibited different efficacies regarding the use of acupuncture to treat opiate addiction.

Methadone has been accepted world-wide as a suitable opiate that satisfies the need of substitution because it has an oral preparation with stable effects and long half-life of 18 to 24 hours. Withdrawal symptoms arising from Methadone are not as severe as compared to heroin and other opiates. Methadone has therefore been popularly used as a substitute, when problems in personality, family and/or community are hindering the proper arrangements for a total withdrawal. In the latter situation, a special term “Methadone Maintenance Treatment” has been created. In some cases a single dose of around 80 mgm MMT,would be sufficient for a day .

Michael J. Sernyak, MD, the Center’s CEO, participated for the first time. Cui GH, Ren XW, Wu LZ, Han JS, Cui CL. Electroacupuncture facilitates recovery of male sexual behavior in morphine withdrawal rats. The findings are discussed and compared according to type of addictive substance. There were 96 articles and 29 review papers; 83 articles were original investigations , with 45 articles involving human beings and 38 involving animals. Original investigations of humans and animals were classified separately according to type of substance dependence.

acupuncture for addiction

Detox helps cleanse the body of harmful toxins and gives individuals a clean slate to begin recovery. After that process, however, discomfort and cravings could still persist. This is why Crest View Recovery Center offers NADA-sanctioned acupuncture treatment for drug addiction in addition to traditional addiction therapy services. Compared with our completed study at 7 days post treatment, 30.9% of participants halved their daily cigarette consumption, but only 5.7% successfully discontinued smoking. In another survey done in with regard to the determination to quit smoking, the proportion of pre-contemplation and contemplation decreased from 71% at baseline to 42% at 3-month follow-up.

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