Acupuncture - Drug Addiction

This form of complimentary medicine has been practised by the Chinese for hundreds of years. It adopts a ‘holistic’ approach in that it treats the body as a whole. It uses a series of needles to relieve pain and re-balance energy in the body.

Practitioners of acupuncture claim that an imbalance in the flow of energy around the body causes ill health which manifests itself in pain and other symptoms.

Inserting tiny needles into various pressure points is thought to stimulate nerve endings to change the way your body responds to pain.

How does acupuncture work with drug addiction?

Tiny needles are inserted into five specific points in the ear. These pressure points are linked to certain areas within the body and the idea is that these needles will stimulate these points, leading to a change in body chemistry. This will then affect signals sent to the brain.

This can control any cravings experienced as a result of withdrawal, reduce levels of stress and/or anxiety and regulate the heart rate and respiration. It also causes the release of endorphins - ‘feel good’ hormones which boost mood and behaviour.

The rationale behind this is that this will enable an addict to have better control of their cravings during the withdrawal process. Acupuncture will deal with the physical aspects of addiction which means that the psychological aspects can be focussed upon.

It has been found to ease withdrawal symptoms in people suffering from alcohol, tobacco or drug addiction.

Acupuncture is safe and as long as it is carried out by a qualified and reputable practitioner then there is no risk to the addict. If you are thinking about this then try and find an acupuncturist who specialises in treating drug addiction.

Your GP or support group will be able to recommend a suitable acupuncturist. Another option is to look online or via word of mouth.

If you are going into a rehab clinic and it involves a period of stay then acupuncture may be offered as part of your treatment.

A session typically lasts between 45 minutes to an hour. Costs vary between practitioners so you will need to ‘shop around’ on this. You will probably need several sessions to get the full benefits of this treatment.

There are usually no risks or side effects with this treatment but if you do experience anything then it is likely to be mild only.


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