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December 2022

J Subst Abuse Treat. 1993 Jan-Feb; 10(1): 35-43.

Acupuncture: new perspectives in chemical dependency treatment.

Brumbaugh AG.

Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Santa Barbara, CA 93102.

The use of auricular acupuncture in treating acute drug withdrawal began in Hong Kong in 1972. Its practical application in the traditional drug treatment setting evolved at New York City's Lincoln Hospital during the 1970s, and over 250 acupuncture programs in diverse treatment settings have since been established world wide, based on the Lincoln protocol. Acupuncture treatment offers the client support during acute and postacute withdrawal through relief of classic symptoms. It has also been found useful as an entry point to treatment and/or recovery in such nontreatment settings as jails and shelters, and has particular efficacy in the treatment of resistant clients, and of prepartum and postpartum women. Though acceptance of the legitimacy of acupuncture by the chemical dependency community has been guarded, both research and outcome studies indicate that it holds promise as a complement to traditional substance abuse modalities.

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