Acupuncture Cuts Heroin Cravings and Anxiety

(adapted from Healthcare Medicine Institute, Aug 15 edition)

Research comparing 60 heroin-addicted patients—two groups of 30 patients each—cite electroacupuncture at Jiaji points as being more successful in achieving better clinical results in 30 patients than did Methadone and Doxepin in group B, also consisting of 30 patients. The article, titled “Acupuncture Cuts Heroin Cravings and Anxiety—New Research,” was authored by Mu, Jing-ping, Li Liu, Heng Liao, Huan-gan Wu, and Ping Xu (“Effect of electroacupuncture on anxiety and craving in heroin addicts during detoxification.” Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science)

Researchers concluded that, “Electroacupuncture at Jiaji points can effectively alleviate anxiety and craving intensity in heroin addicts during detoxification.” The other recent study measured the ability of electroacupuncture to regulate opioids within the body. Investigators note that, “Acupuncture does release endogenous opioids….” and that evidence is very strong regarding electroacupuncture, although there is also evidence demonstrating that manual acupuncture has this effect.

Laura Christensen’s response: Previously, we have thought that ear acupuncture, or auriculotherapy was the best treatment for addiction, but this provides a new tool for us to use in our work with folks in withdrawal from opiates, and probably also other drugs. We have found the Jia Ji points are very helpful for a number of conditions. They are located about 1/2 inch lateral to the spinous process of each vertebra. Even massage on these points is beneficial.