Hypothesizing Synergy between Acupuncture/ Auriculotherapy and Natural Activation of Mesolimbic Dopaminergic Pathways: Putative Natural Treatment Modalities for the Reduction of Drug Hunger and Relapse

Kenneth Blum, John Giordano, Siobhan Morse, Arthur Anderson, Javier Carbajal, Roger Waite, Bernarld Downs, Jaclyn Downs, Margaret Madigan, Debmalya Barh, Eric Braverman


Acupuncture is a very ancient form of healing which predates recorded history. The philosophy is rooted in the Taoist tradition which goes back over 8000 years. To date this practice although used world-wide to treat addictive behaviors has not been generally accepted or scientifically proven. There are however many positive reports in the literature in its effectiveness in reducing symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol, heroin and cocaine. In addition, due to known neuro-chemical mechanisms associated with acupuncture, especially its role in pain relief and endogenous opioid function, clinical benefits in reward dependence behaviors seem parsimonious. In this review article we are hypothesizing synergy between acupuncture/auriculotherapy and natural activation of mesolimbic dopaminergic pathways to reduce drug hunger and prevent relapse. Following a review of the literature involving both of these modalities the scientific and clinical community is encouraged to carry out translational research in large randomized double-blinded placebo controlled investigations coupling these two anti-craving treatment modalities.


Acupuncture; Auriculotherapy; Dopamine; Reward Deficiency Syndrome; Neuroadaptagen Amino –Acid Therapy (NAAT); KB220

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/iioablett.2011.9


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