Life can be stressful. And when things are a little hectic, it’s understandable to want to unwind a bit with a drink or other substance. But for many among us, the ability to control those impulses is much more difficult. Alcohol and many drugs are designed with addictive properties in mind. For many, a brief dalliance can soon turn into full-fledged addiction. One in seven people in the U.S. will experience a problem with alcohol or drug use in their lifetimes, and approximately 20 million people currently have substance abuse issues. Sadly, 78 people die of overdose every day.
What compounds the problem is that the far majority of people suffering from addiction don’t receive any help towards recovery. Many rehabilitations and recovery centers can be expensive and difficult to access. What if there were a relatively inexpensive, safe, and effective way to treat substance addiction? Recent research from Daegy Haany University and Qiqihar Medical University in China suggests that acupuncture may be just that solution.
They studied acupuncture as a means of suppressing addiction related to self-administration of intravenous methamphetamines. The controlled experiment tested two specific acupuncture points, HT7 and LI5. “Acupuncture at the specific acupoint HT7, but not at the control acupoint LI5, markedly suppressed the methamphetamine self-administration behavior,” the study determined.
The researchers chose these points for a reason. HT7, specifically is a yuan source point for the heart channel and is a target for treatment of many neurological disorders, including addiction. Thankfully, research suggests that treatment of this point has wide-ranging benefits when it comes to misuse of substances:
“The researchers cite eight independent investigations finding HT7 effective for ameliorating the effects of drug addiction. The investigations found acupuncture effective for ameliorating the addictive effects of nicotine, methamphetamines, morphine, alcohol, and cocaine.”
Nobody should suffer from alcohol and substance addiction. Thankfully, it appears as though there’s a safe, effective and accessible step to take in the road to recovery.