Acupuncture Detoxification and Addiction

Written by Angela Lai

Everyday, patients who are on prescription or non-prescription medications seek help in trying to decrease their dependence on these drugs. Many protocols involve other drugs to help with this process which patients are hesitant to try because they may be substituting one addiction for another.

Fortuntely, there is a effective therapy that has been used in this country for over 40years in  helping with addiction and detoxification without the use of additional medication, acupuncture.  The acupuncture protocol that is based on an analgesic study from Hong Kong has been used starting in the Bronx, New York since the mid 1970s.  With the opioid crisis raging in our nation, this method maybe the saving grace for some.

The NADA protocol is ideally offered as a part of a comprehensive model of care. Developed at Lincoln Hospital, the approach is known as the NADA model (see p.6), which includes several components that made it an effective and economical system of care (Smith, 2010). The model recognizes that not one single component of a comprehensive recovery or health program can be seen as a “cure” or “stand-alone” therapy for any condition. This assumption poses a challenge for researchers to isolate and determine the efficacy of the NADA protocol. As recent US Department of Justice and British Medical Journal publications have noted, the NADA protocol is best utilized as a component, not as an isolated function within community health programs (American University School of Public Affairs Justice Programs Office, 2011, Cowan, 2011). Future researchshould take this into consideration.   (Evidence for the NADA Ear Acupuncutre protocol by Ryan Bemis)

NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) protocol is a standardized ear acupuncture protocol behavioral health, including addictions, mental health, and disaster & emotional trauma.

The Bureau of Justice and American University has published a study in 2011 stating that:

A number of studies have demonstrated that patients who receive acupuncture services experience reduced cravings and symptoms of withdrawal and are more amenable to treatment services than patients who do not receive acupuncture. Patients who are more open to treatment may then have a greater chance of achieving remission and potentially avoid more frequent relapses. The two leading studies conducted on the subject were
conducted by Milton L. Bullock and Michael Shwartz and demonstrate the significant impact acupuncture can have as an adjunct to substance abuse treatment.
Milton L. Bullock. “Controlled Trial of Acupuncture for Severe Recidivist Alcoholism” The Lancet 333, no. 8652 (1989)

Utilizing the NADA protocol partnered with counseling and other adjunct therapies can significantly help with someone who has an addiction problem.

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