Acupuncture can be used to aid in treatment of addiction and to help patients to reduce prescribed medications which are difficult to withdraw from. Acupuncture treatment reduces withdrawal symptoms, aids in relaxation in cases of anxiety, improves sleep, and reduces cravings for drugs. It has been used for withdrawal from drugs of abuse such as heroin and methamphetamine; cigarettes and alcohol; and prescribed medications such as pain medications: oxycodone, percocet, etc, benzodiazapenes: valium, xanax, ativan, antidepressants: effexor, paxil, etc.
While acupuncture is a valuable part of addiction treatment, it is not a stand-alone protocol for drug treatment. It is very important that patients working to reduce drug use utilize a complete array of modalities. For addiction, counselling and medical supervision are usually appropriate. For detoxification from prescription drugs the prescribing physician’s cooperation is essential. Cigarette addiction can often be adequately addressed by acupuncture but other modalities such as medical treatment or nicotine patches or gum may be used as necessary.