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Table 2 Original investigations of acupuncture therapy effects in cocaine-dependent subjects

From: Acupuncture therapy for drug addiction

Publication year; first author Objectives Subjects Stimulated acupoints (acupuncture type, acupoints, frequency) Assessments Outcomes
2000 Avants [10] To evaluate the AA efficacy in cocaine addiction treatment compared to needle-insertion and no-needle relaxation control conditions 82 Cocaine-dependent, methadone-maintained patients Auricular acupuncture at 4 NADA points (sympathetic, lung, liver, and Shenmen (HT7)), 5 times a week for 8 weeks Urine toxicology screens 3-times-weekly Acupuncture showed positive results compared to control groups for treatment of cocaine dependence
2002 Margolin [60] To Compare two cocaine addiction clinical trials of AA to explore consistency of treatment effects 165 Cocaine-dependent, methadone-maintained patients (Study 1, n = 82; Study 2, n = 83) Auricular acupuncture at 4 NADA points (sympathetic, lung, liver, and Shenmen (HT7)), 5 times a week for 8 weeks Urine toxicology screens 3-times-weekly, retention in treatment, treatment attendance, treatment credibility, therapeutic alliance, and acute effects The results of two groups were controversial and no conclusion could be made regarding the effectiveness of AA
2002 Margolin [61] To evaluate the AA efficacy in cocaine addiction treatment 620 Cocaine-dependent methadone-maintained patients. 412 Cocaine only and 208 opiates + cocaine Auricular acupuncture at 4 NADA points (sympathetic, lung, liver, and Shenmen (HT7)), 5 times a week for 8 weeks Urine toxicology during treatment and at the 3- and 6-month post randomization follow-up, and retention in treatment acupuncture was not more effective than a needle insertion or relaxation control in reducing cocaine use
2005 Margolin [59] To evaluate effects of acupuncture and spirituality, therapy in the treatment of HIV-positive drug users 40 HIV-seropositive, cocaine-dependent, methadone-maintained patients Auricular acupuncture at 5 NADA points, 5 times weekly for 8 weeks Urine toxicology twice weekly, depression and anxiety at pre- and post-treatment acupuncture and a spirituality-focused psychotherapy was effective in reducing the cocaine use
2009 Lee and Bombi [44] To investigate the effects of acupuncture on the repeated cocaine-induced neuronal and behavioral sensitization alternations 32 Male Sprague–Dawley rats, n = 15 acupuncture Acupuncture bilaterally at Shenmen (HT7) for 1 min Cocaine-induced locomotor activity and the expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in the brain acupuncture was effective for inhibiting the behavioral effects of cocaine by possible modulation of the central dopaminergic system
2012 Yoon [84] To investigate the effects of acupuncture on cocaine-seeking and the expression of c-Fos and the transcription factor cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) 24 Male Sprague–Dawley rats, n = 6 EA Acupuncture at Shenmen (HT7) as study and Yangxi (LI5) as control for 1 min Cocaine-seeking behavior, surface expression, and phosphorylated CREB (pCREB) activation in the NAc shell acupuncture attenuated stress-induced relapse by
regulating neuronal activation in the NAc shell
2013 Kim and Seol Ah [42] To explore the peripheral mechanisms underlying acupuncture treatment for drug addiction 12 Male Sprague–Dawley rats Acupuncture at Shenmen (HT7) as study and Yangxi (LI5) as control for 1 min Suppression of cocaine-induced locomotor activity acupuncture inhibited the cocaine-induced locomotor activity
  1. Acupoints in NADA protocol are located at (sympathetic: in the deltoid fossa at the junction of the infra-antihelix crus and the medial order of the helix, lung: in the center of the cavum concha, liver: located in the posterior to upper portion of the helix crus, kidney: in the cleft between the upper plateau, and the helix)