2014 – Acupuncture as an adjunct to methadone for heroin addicts

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

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.

Reference:
School of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
Am J Chin Med. 2014;42(3):569-86. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X14500372.
Clinical efficacy of acupuncture as an adjunct to methadone treatment services for heroin addicts: a randomized controlled trial.
Chan YY1, Lo WY, Li TC, Shen LJ, Yang SN, Chen YH, Lin JG.
PMID: 24871652 DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X14500372


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