Treating Addiction with Acupuncture

According to Claire O'Brien, “There are many different ways to treat addiction, but one Charlottesville agency is turning to an ancient method to help its clients on the road to recovery. It's literally using pins and needles to help people relax in preparation for therapy.“

She says that centuries-old medicine finds a home at Region Ten, where about a dozen people are learning how to use acupuncture to help others. Mark Farrington with the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association explains, "There are five points in each ear and so the counselor puts the needles in, puts those five points in, and the person just sits and relaxes for about 30 to 45 minutes,"


Claire O'Brien goes to say that it may seem unorthodox, but Region Ten says acupuncture can be used to help treat a lot of different kinds of addictions. According to Farrington, "It's not a cure for addiction, but it's a way to prepare people for the treatment they need."

She tells us that Farrington says auricular acupuncture, targeting specific points in the ear, helps patients by reducing anxiety and cravings. That way traditional treatments, such as counseling and therapy, have a better chance of working.

"People often use substances to deal with their feelings," said Farrington. "The acupuncture helps them to deal with those feelings in a way that's tolerable and that's why it helps to prepare them for verbal treatment."

She ends by saying Farrington says the acupuncture treatments help people stay in therapy longer and the longer they receive help, the more successful the treatment. He says he's seen a patient in a full-blown panic attack so relaxed by the acupuncture that he actually fell asleep.

Source:, Posted: Oct 21, 2008
Author: Claire O'Brien