Acupuncture may help to treat addictions
- By: Richard Tingay
Scientists from the Yale School of Medicine in the United States believe that they have evidence that addictions may be controlled using acupuncture.
The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (2000;160:2305-12), showed that auricular acupuncture may have a part to play in treating cocaine addiction. Out of 82 cocaine dependent patients, 57% of whom were men and 43% women, 54.8% of those receiving acupuncture had no trace of cocaine in their urine compared with 24% and 9% in the two control groups.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese procedure, which uses thin needles inserted into selected points beneath the skin. All the patients who took part in the study were randomly assigned to three groups. The first group underwent auricular acupuncture, which consisted of pins being inserted into parts of the ear thought to be important in addictions. The second group received a needle-insertion control treatment to areas of