New research concludes that ear acupuncture helps reduce anxiety and other symptoms caused by drug and alcohol withdrawal. The new study published in the Journal of Psychiatric And Mental Health Nursing notes that the patients experienced increased relaxation and well-being. Anxiety reduction and reduced drug and alcohol consumption were directly related to the use of the ear acupuncture therapy.
Ear acupuncture, also known as auricular acupuncture, is the placement of needles on the tissue of the outer ear. The acupuncture protocols used in the study followed those created by NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association). The study noted that no negative side-effects were reported and the study notes that the ear acupuncture had an overall positive physical impact on the patients. Given the success of acupuncture therapy for the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction in this study, the investigators suggest continued research into the use of the NADA acupuncture techniques for addiction withdrawal.
Another recent study finds acupuncture effective for the treatment of withdrawal symptoms and anxiety associated with heroin addiction. In this controlled study, the use of two acupuncture points located on the arm, HT7 and P6, were investigated. The research concluded that both acupuncture points were successful in the treatment of heroin withdrawal symptoms.
The use of acupuncture point HT7 is widely used for the treatment of anxiety. Also known as Shenmen, Spirit’s Gate, HT7 is valued by licensed acupuncturists for its ability to induce sustained relaxation and benefiting sleep. Another recent study found HT7 had a “markedly reduced reinstatement of cocaine-seeking” in lab rats. The inhibition rate exceeded 85%. In yet another study of human subjects conducted at Yale University it was discovered that acupuncture is significantly effective in the treatment of cocaine addiction. The subjects were much less likely to return to cocaine use if they had received acupuncture treatments.
Bergdahl, Lena, A. H. Berman, and Kristina Haglund. "Patients’ experience of auricular acupuncture during protracted withdrawal." Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing (2013).
Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science. Volume 10, Number 3 (2012), 155-159. Therapeutic efficacy observation on acupuncture for post-withdrawal syndrome of heroin dependence. Yan Liang, Lei Zong, Yu Li, Bo Cheng, Jing Xu and Yue-lai Chen.
Psychopharmacology. Effects of acupuncture on stress-induced relapse to cocaine-seeking in rats. Seong Shoon Yoon, Eun Jin Yang, Bong Hyo Lee, Eun Young Jang, Hee Young Kim, Sun-Mi Choi, Scott C. Steffensen and Chae Ha Yang.
Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(15):2305-2312. Randomized Controlled Trial of Auricular Acupuncture for Cocaine Dependence. S. Kelly Avants, PhD; Arthur Margolin, PhD; Theodore R. Holford, PhD; Thomas R. Kosten, MD. Yale University School of Medicine and Department of Psychiatry. New Haven, Connecticut.