Mental Health & Addictions

Acupuncture is one of the most popular forms of alternative medicine in the United States. Chinese practitioners introduced it to the U.S. nearly 40 years ago. This treatment has been widely used in the U.S. healthcare system. Serial medical research and experimentation with the healing powers of acupuncture has led to the discovery of a highly promising weapon in the fight against chemical dependency.

The benefits of acupuncture in treating drug and alcohol addictions include:

  • Acupuncture’s ability to regulate the nervous system, tranquilize the mind, and relieve tension. It helps a person relax by raising the level of endorphins in the nervous system, which decreases cravings and alleviates a person’s withdrawal symptoms.
  • Acupuncture’s tendency to improve the functions of your internal organs, such as your liver, lungs, and kidneys, which detoxifies your body’s systems.
  • Acupuncture’s ability to strengthen the body’s immune system, build up energy levels, and promote general health.

Although acupuncture may not be a physiological cure for drug addiction, there is a consensus that acupuncture has a soothing, relaxing effect. This is extremely helpful to people experiencing any kind of lifestyle change, especially a change as large as drug withdrawal. Many experts in the medical community believe that acupuncture is beneficial for addicts seeking this kind of change.

However, to truly beat addiction, individuals need to learn to make decisions based on their own sense of self-worth and confidence that they can change their environment.

Therefore, the most effective and powerful treatment for fighting addiction is to combine the acupuncture therapy with individual counseling and group therapies.

Research Evidence

In the U.S., many of the most prestigious universities, such as Harvard, Yale, and Columbia, have conducted numerous controlled studies on acupuncture treatment for addictions. In 2000, a report was published in the “Archives of Internal Medicine.” Researchers at Yale School of Medicine conducted a study showing that participants who received acupuncture therapy were more likely to have cocaine-negative urine screens over the course of study compared to those in controlled groups.

Those who completed acupuncture detoxification treatments also had longer periods of sustained abstinence compared to participants in two other groups. The success rate with acupuncture was substantially higher than with conventional programs.

Unlike methadone, acupuncture is a natural procedure with no side effects. It can treat a wide range of addictions. Individuals report a marked reduction in craving for drugs, relief from withdrawal symptoms, feelings of relaxation and wellbeing, and improved sleep.