Researchers publishing in the Acupuncture in Medicine journal recently conducted a study utilizing auricular acupuncture detox techniques to encourage better treatment retention rates.
Addictions can be a very difficult thing to treat across the board and what specialists are finding is that people do not often have just one addiction. They may often have underlying psychological issues along with other addictive behavior in addition to the primary addiction for which they are seeking treatment. This particular study looks at using auricular acupuncture to improve retention rates for those with co-occurring borderline personality disorder and smoking addiction. In many cases these individuals with co-occurring issues are difficult to treat so finding other ways to increase overall treatment effectiveness and reduce drop-outs and relapsing is important.
Auricular detox such as that in the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) protocol is a widely used sub speciality so to speak in acupuncture. In the US at least, it is so broadly used that many states have separate licensure that allows nurses, addiction specialists, counselors, etc. the possibility of being trained and obtain certification that allows them just to perform this one specific protocol - not to do acupuncture elsewhere or for anything other than addictions.
In this study 231 patients were treated over the course of 2 years from 2009 to 2011. 88% of the patients had smoking/nicotine dependence and 79% had a diagnosis of personality disorders. There were monthly followups over the course of 1 year.
80% of the patients completed the program and the researchers found that the use of auricular acupuncture detox techniques were an important part of successful completion. The researchers concluded that auricular acupuncture detox was an important part of retention and ultimately to remain addiction free.
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