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Acupuncture in drug addicts and alcoholics?


Dear, Chad Dupuis.

What do you think about using acupuncture in drug addicts and alcoholics?

Thanks. Vlad.

Opiate abuse for normal function

You would have to be quite a bit more specific for me to offer any more detail, but to generally answer your question acupuncture is extremely useful for all forms of addictions in addition to counseling programs and western medical detox interventions if necessary. Certainly the widespread clinical use and success of the NADA protocol (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) is a testimony to the aid acupuncture can provide to those struggling with various addictions (eating, drugs, alcohol, smoking, etc.). Within body acupuncture it can go much deeper working with the patient through the detox process, controlling the addictions, and ultimately helping to help regulate the internal physical and psychological imbalances which are driving the addictions (often initially starting as a form of self-medication). In my clinical experience and within the studies I have read acupuncture very often leads to very low rates of relapse and, as I say, can often work out many of the underlying issues after the initial acute addiction phase has been eased.


The patient is 35 years old being treated for heroin addiction. Can I really help him?


From your question it is clear that you do not have any experience working with addictions. That is fine, the trick in your case is to not overly complicate things or be uncomfortable with the situation. I would recommend that you singularly use the NADA protocol as this requires no diagnosis and works well - it is in fact taught to various drug rehab counselors and others in the field where they can only use these 5 auricular points and nothing else.

The same criteria applies as my first response, however, you should -not- attempt to detox a heavy heroin user all on your own. They need to be working in conjunction with a drug rehab facility and monitored particularly in the early stages for medical emergencies that can arise from the detox process. But your side of the equation is shown time and time again to be helpful.


For drug auricular points: Lung 1, 2, Shenmen(for calm down mind), Sympathetic ( for stop pain), Endorcrine, Brain, heart,+Yin Tang, each time needle for 30 minutes for one ear, the other ear use seeds go home for 1 day. after 1day come back change ear needle. +liver, kidney, Spleen for alcoholics addicts(information from China Acupuncture Study, NADA and ACACD).


<img src="file:///C:\Users\ninafaye\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image001.wmz"/>Hi! I want to throw in my 2 cents for the Ear Points used in drug and alcohol detoxification. The protocol has been shown to significantly decrease:

*Cravings for alcohol and drugs

*Withdrawal symptoms


*Inpatient detoxification admissions

*Anxiety, insomnia and agitation

You really have to experience this for yourself to know how these 5 points totally take the edge off a jittery nervous system and relax a person. My patients fall asleep frequently with ear needles in and don&#39t want to leave when it&#39s over. They can think better and make better decisions after a treatment. This information is from the NADA web site:

NADA Point Descriptions

The NADA 5 points were chosen based upon clinical indication as well as lower electrical resistance and pain sensitivity. All 5 points serve to balance the body&#39s energy and assist the body&#39s healing processes. Together the combined effect of the 5 point protocol is yin tonification, restoring the calm inner qualities akin to serenity.

In general, needling Sympathetic and Shen men calms, relaxes and centers. The other 3 points, Kidney, Liver, and Lung correspond to yin organ systems in Chinese medicine. The yin organs are seen as internal, nurturing, nourishing, restorative, and supportive. They store the vital substances such as energy and essence. In Western medicine the Kidney, Liver and Lung relate to detoxification and cleansing (the organs of elimination).

Sympathetic: The Sympathetic point balances the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. It has a strong analgesic (pain relieving) and relaxant effect upon internal organs and it dilates blood vessels.

Shen men: This is the "spirit gate". Needling this point generally helps to alleviate anxiety and nervousness and produces a calming, relaxing effect. It helps the process of going within, supporting the internal journey of recovery.

Kidney: In Chinese medicine the kidney is associated with growth, development, reproduction and the aging process. It is believed to store the source energy and the essence, or "Jing". It is associated with fear, resolve/will power, and rebirth.

Liver: Chinese medical theory associates the Liver with resolving anger and aggression and with keeping both the emotions and the body&#39s systems moving smoothly.

Lung: In addition to respiration, the Lung is involved in immunity and protecting the body from disease. The Lung is associated with the grieving process and with letting go.


Indeed, I had no patients with this diagnosis! Thank you all for your help.

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