Int J Addict. 1985 Sep; 20(9): 1347-60.
Rapid narcotic detoxification in chronic pain patients treated with auricular electroacupuncture and naloxone.
Severe withdrawal signs which accompany the detoxification of narcotic addicts from opiate drugs are also a serious problem for chronic pain patients taking high levels of analgesic medications. A rapid narcotic detoxification procedure utilizing auricular electroacupuncture was applied to 14 chronic pain patients to be withdrawn from their opiate medications. All patients were first switched to oral methadone. They were then given bilateral electrical stimulation to needles inserted in the "lung" and "shen men" acupuncture points on the ear, followed by periodic intravenous injections of low doses of naloxone. Twelve of the patients, 85.7%, were completely withdrawn from narcotic medications within 2-7 days, and they experienced no to minimal side effects. These results are explained by the relationship of electroacupuncture to the release of endorphins.