Research appearing in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment (2010;38(1):12–21) looked at the effectiveness transcutaneous electric acupoint stimulation (also called TEAS, a form of acupuncture) as a treatment for people with substance abuse problems. The subjects of the study were between the ages of 18 and 59 years of age and diagnosed with opioid addiction. The men and women were randomly chosen to receive either three daily 30-minute treatments of TEAS or a sham treatment (placebo) for up to four days. Treatment (or placebo) was given in conjunction with standard drug therapy (a combination of buprenophine and naloxone). A two-week follow-up revealed that 65% of the subjects in the placebo group began using opioids again, compared to 29% in the group that received TEAS. The subjects in the TEAS group also reported less pain and greater improvements in general health.
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