Am J Chin Med. 1980 Winter; 8(4): 349-53.
Clinical experience and mechanism of acupuncture and electrical stimulation (AES) in the treatment of drug abuse.
Three hundred cases were treated by AES in an out-patient detoxification setting. Seventy-seven cases completed 14 days of treatment and of these 30 were detoxified. One hundred and twenty-six cases came back for retreatment and another 19 cases (19/300 = 6.3% or 19/126 = 15.5%) were detoxified. It was found that the ACTH, cortisol (corticosterone), c-AMP were elevated during abstinence and these compounds were reduced after AES treatment. Fraction I of the opiate activity in the brains of mice was found to be increased after AES. It has been suggested that this could be a beta-endorphin. Recently it was found that during abstinence the plasma beta-lipoprotein and and beta-endorphin were elevated but not reduced after AES. However, the CSF met-enkephalin was within normal limits during abstinence but greatly elevated after half an hour of AES. It is suggested that acupuncture affects not only the somatosensory nervous system but also the autonomic nervous system, as well as the neuro-endocrine system in drug abusers.