Alcohol and drug addictionAcupuncture can help suppress the effects of withdrawal from opiates such as heroin, morphine and codeine. It may also help with withdrawal form other drugs such as cocaine and also alcohol. The science is not encouraging but many trials miss the point of what acupuncture has to offer in alcohol and drug rehabilitation. The most helpful aspect of acupuncture may be simply to calm addicts so that they can continue with abstinence and any withdrawal programmes more comfortably. Clinical use suggests that addicts become more relaxed with a more positive outlook and are able to abstain with less difficulty with the support of acupuncture.
One commonly used protocol involves inserting 5 tiny needles in each ear and leaving them in for up to an hour during each treatment session. People are often treated in groups and acupuncture should always be combined with other supportive treatments including counseling and education