Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence

Clinical efficacy of acupuncture as an adjunct to methadone treatment services for heroin addicts: a randomized controlled trial.

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Scant scientific evidence supports the efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of opiate dependence. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of acupuncture for heroin addicts on methadone maintenance by measuring the daily consumption of methadone, variations in the 36-item Short Form Health Survey-36 (SF-36) and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) scores, and heroin craving. Sixty heroin addicts were randomly assigned to true acupuncture (electroacupuncture at the Hegu [LI4] and Zusanli [ST36] acupoints, as well as acupuncture at the Ear Shenmen) or sham acupuncture (minimal acupuncture at the Hegu and Zusanli acupoints without electrical stimulation and superficial acupuncture at the Ear Shenmen), twice weekly for 4 weeks. From week 2 onwards, the daily dose of methadone was reduced by a significantly greater amount with true acupuncture compared with sham acupuncture. True acupuncture was also associated with a greater improvement in sleep latency at follow-up. All adverse events were mild in severity. Acupuncture appears to be a useful adjunct to methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) in heroin addiction.

Effect of acupuncture on heroin cue-induced functional magnetic resonance images in heroin-addicted human subjects


Acupuncture of Zusanli (ST 36) can lessen heroin cue-induced activation degree of the brain areas involving psychological craving, suggesting that acupuncture is able to suppress the heroin addiction patients’ drug abuse craving.

Managing acute withdrawal syndrome on patients with heroin and morphine addiction by acupuncture therapy.


Though there are articles and case reports about using acupuncture to detoxify and to break the narcotic addiction, few articles describe in the West about using acupuncture therapy to treat the emergence of acute withdrawal symptom due to heroin, opium, or morphine. Most often the method of treatment are using the methadone or benzodiazepine and phenoziazine drugs this article describes many years of clinical experience with non-drug approach to treat the acute withdrawal symptoms with acupuncture therapy. Unlike the drug approach, which usually has side effects, there is no adverse effect with acupuncture therapy.