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Acupuncture for Addiction Treatment

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AcupunctureOvercoming drug addiction is an incredibly challenging journey that requires various different methods and approaches in order to be effective and successful. Likewise, there are numerous different studies showcasing that acupuncture can possibly be an effective tool in overall treating drug addiction. Therefore, assisting in the detox process.

Overall, the path to recovery from substance addiction is often a tedious process, and the actual route can be different for every individual. Even though addiction recovery requires diligent work, it also requires the act of self-care. How an individual decides to care for themselves as a component of their overall recovery process varies greatly due to the following factors.

  • A person’s personality 
  • Their upbringing 
  • The culture


Addiction recovery is a process that completely surrounds the individual’s soul, mind, and body simultaneously. All three of the above-mentioned components must be tended to after for the highest probability of deep-rooted success. There are some individuals with substance abuse issues that turn to specific care methods that might be traditional to various other cultures such as acupuncture for addiction. 

Additionally, mental health treatment such as group therapy and counseling, and acupuncture can assist patients in discovering relief from their cravings. Therefore, being more successful in sustaining a sober lifestyle after substance addiction and abuse is crucial. Acupuncture for addiction and substance abuse is becoming increasingly more of a popular method for treating numerous illnesses including several different forms of addiction. 

Can acupuncture help with addiction? In order to fully break down acupuncture, the definition should first be defined. In today’s blog, acupuncture for addiction and substance abuse will be clearly articulated, along with if it’s effective for treating addiction, the benefits, and how it can assist. 

What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is considered a complementary medical practice or alternative. Overall, it involves stimulating an individual’s specific precise points on the body, typically using fine needs that penetrate the skin. Generally, it has been utilized in Eastern cultures for thousands of years for the precise alleviation of pain and furthermore, the relief from numerous medical conditions. 

In Western countries, acupuncture is mostly utilized often for treating issues such as nausea or pain. The overall practice of acupuncture has been believed to pave the way for recorded history and has since then been utilized in modern Chinese medicine. It is based on the theory that disease is caused by disruptions to the overall flow of energy in a person’s body.

By stimulating points that are underneath the skin by utilizing fine needles, acupuncture is believed to unclear the flow of energy. It’s believed by a few Western scientists to assist the brain in releasing the natural endorphins. Therefore, results in higher pain tolerance and well-being feelings. 

How Might Acupuncture Help With Addiction Recovery?

There have been studies indicating that acupuncture is a component of addiction recovery. So when the question is asked, Can acupuncture help with addiction? The answer is yes, acupuncture for addiction and substance abuse is attainable. 

Acupuncture as a component of addiction recovery is scarce. However, the studies that have been published in respected medical journals such as the American Journal of Public Health and the Archives of Internal Medicine have thus reported that acupuncture therapy was beneficial to the recovery of individuals with cocaine and tobacco addictions. Relief from pain and stress reduction are the two central benefits of acupuncture.

Overall, it is easy to see how acupuncture might benefit individuals in recovery from opiate abuse disorders. When acupuncture is utilized as an alternative therapy for pain management, it might prove to be an all-powerful component of addiction recovery programs, especially with addictions involving painkillers. It’s important to note that though acupuncture has been present for thousands of years, the scale that opioid addiction society is dealing with is fairly new. Therefore, it will take time for large-scale results of acupuncture overall to be assessed. 

Is Acupuncture Effective for Treating Addiction?

Acupuncture is effective for treating addiction. Even though it isn’t entirely understood how acupuncture is effective for treating addiction, there has been research that has indicated and shown evidence of a rise in the level of endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers found in the nervous system. The withdrawal symptoms and cravings can be alleviated by raising endorphin levels. Hence, making acupuncture effective for addiction. 

How Can Acupuncture Assist in Addiction Treatment and Recovery? 

Acupuncture for AddictionAs stated, acupuncture research is still on the rise. Acupuncture was used for addiction originally in the early 1970s in China when a doctor observed that acupuncture was able to provide a reduction of withdrawal symptoms in individuals who abused opioids.

It was discovered by acupuncturists that inserting and manipulating meridian points could possibly assist in reducing cortisol. 

Furthermore, balancing the dopamine levels that could decrease cravings and withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and drug detox. AcuDetox or NADA is a particular acupuncture protocol that has been developed to ease drug and alcohol detox symptoms. It was developed 40 years ago by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association, as suggested by research. 

AcuDetox is considered to be an effective addiction treatment that is utilized as a relapse prevention tool and even a supplement to traditional approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, (CBT). It has been shown to do the following:

  • Increase an individual’s overall chances of staying sober after addiction treatment. 
  • Ease alcohol and drug withdrawal symptoms. 
  • Increase the chances of completing addiction treatment programs. 
  • Improve the overall quality of life. 
  • Increase energy. 

The majority of the time, holistic addiction recovery centers use AcuDetox often during alcohol and drug detox programs and therefore, throughout addiction treatment. As stated previously, acupuncture for addiction and substance abuse works on an individual’s central nervous system in order to reduce the intensity of the most common drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms like:

  • Muscle cramps and aches
  • Digestive issues
  • Depression 
  • Insomnia
  • Cravings 
  • Anxiety 


Overall, acupuncture for addiction and substance abuse can summon a better sense of well-being and calmness in an individual. The fewer substance abuse symptoms an individual is facing, the better they are able to focus on treatment and therefore, get better. When an individual also experiences fewer withdrawal symptoms, relapse is prevented more efficiently. 

What Is an Acupuncture for Addiction and Substance Abuse Session Like?

AcuDetox extracts on auricular acupuncture protocols that are targeted to trauma, addictions, and mental health disorders. Overall, the actual acupuncture for addiction and substance abuse experience and session is similar to a regular acupuncture session. It will begin with an acupuncturist inserting extremely small and sterile needles into an individual’s skin. 

After that part of the process is completed, the person is then instructed to sit quietly for about 20-30 minutes. The acupuncture for addiction and substance abuse targets five areas on the person’s ear that are believed to be connected with substance abuse. Generally, this type of acupuncture for addiction is performed commonly in a group session that lasts 30-45 minutes. 

There have been various participants who have reported feeling more energized after AcuDetox, but also relaxed and calm. Acupuncture for mental health disorders or co-occurring disorders can sometimes co-occur with alcohol and drug addiction. Individuals with depression, anxiety, and various other conditions might abuse alcohol and drugs in an attempt to cope. 

Effective substance abuse treatment must address alcohol and drug abuse as well as underlying mental conditions such as mental health disorders. As stated, acupuncture can act as a supplement to traditional mental health disorder treatment. There has been some research showcasing acupuncture to be a promising depression treatment when combined with therapy and antidepressants. 

Overall, acupuncture for addiction and substance abuse can assist in increasing the quality of life of an individual and their social and emotional health. There have been studies that have also suggested acupuncture as being an effective anxiety treatment option. When dual diagnosis treatment includes acupuncture, it can assist with anxiety, depression, and stress that are associated with drug and alcohol addiction. 

What Are the Benefits of This Holistic Approach?

There are various benefits to treatment facilities utilizing the holistic approach for addiction recovery. Holistic health is considered to be a concept according to which an individual’s mind, body, and spirit are considered complete or a whole, living organism. In short, the health and/or sickness of one individual can affect them as a whole. 

As a result of that, instead of utilizing the medication as a means to target particular functions or areas of the body, holistic medicine aims to improve the health of a person or the individual’s entire mind/body system. Ultimately, this process causes enhancement in the particular sick areas of an individual as well. Some benefits of using acupuncture as a holistic approach are:

  • A protected body that can withstand the inception of disease more efficiently
  • An overall improvement of the natural healing abilities of an individual’s body
  • The prevention of numerous diseases and disorders
  • Overall, the lessening of depressive symptoms
  • A desire for healthy and happy living
  • Reduced anxiety and stress levels
  • Improved lifestyle changes/habits

Acupuncture for Addiction at New Directions for Women 

If there was one addiction recovery method that worked well every time, there would be fewer concerns about recovery and relapse rates. However, in the real world, a one-size-fits-all approach to recovery will leave some individuals behind. It’s an inevitable occurrence. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with the disease that is addiction, don’t settle for treatment that is similar to what everyone else is getting. Pursue treatment that is ideal for your specific needs. Your best chance of long-lasting recovery will be from a program that is tailored to meet your needs. It’s encouraged to give us a call. You’re one step away from recovery.

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