Acupuncture is an ancient healing art practiced in China and other parts of Asia for thousands of years. It is traditionally used to relieve a variety of conditions and ailments, including chronic pain, headaches, depression, stress, anxiety, insomnia, digestive disorders and hypertension. The use of acupuncture in the field of addiction treatment is more recent, but this alternative form of therapy offers new hope for people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.
Although acupuncture is not a cure for addiction, evidence supports that auricular acupuncture, a treatment in which short, paper-thin needles are inserted at specific points on the outside of the ear is an effective form of treatment when combined with counseling and other conventional forms of treatment.
Auricular acupuncture, practiced at many treatment centers, targets specific areas associated with the nervous system, as well as the kidney, liver and lungs—organs that are damaged by long-term use of drugs and alcohol.