Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese MedicineChina
This review systematically assessed the clinical evidence for and against acupuncture as a treatment for drug addiction. The existing scientific rationale and possible mechanisms for the effectiveness of acupuncture on drug addiction were also evaluated. We used computerized literature searches in English and Chinese and examined texts written before these computerized databases existed. We also used search terms of treatment and neurobiology for drug abuse and dependence. Acupuncture showed evidence for relevant neurobiological mechanisms in the treatment of drug addiction. Although positive findings regarding the use of acupuncture to treat drug dependence have been reported by many clinical studies, the data do not allow us to make conclusions that acupuncture was an effective treatment for drug addiction, given that many studies reviewed here were hampered by small numbers of patients, insufficient reporting of randomization and allocation concealment methods, and strength of the inference. However, considering the potential of acupuncture demonstrated in the included studies, further rigorous randomized controlled trials with long follow-up are warranted.
Part of the book: Complementary Therapies for the Body, Mind and Soul