Traditional Chinese Medicine and Drug Addiction

Do you have a drug problem? Does a member of your family – immediate or extended – struggle with some form of dependency issue? If so, you know that the impact can be profound. You can be affected emotionally, mentally, financially and spiritually.

If you have any issues with drug addiction or substance related issues, you may benefit from a detoxification programme and a visit to a naturopath or natural health specialist. You may also need to visit your general practitioner and seek out expert guidance on how to address your drug addiction problems.

Alternative Therapies

These can be woven into your detoxification and rehabilitation programme. You can incorporate these on your own or attend a therapeutic community or rehabilitation centre that specialises in helping individuals come back from the brink of substance dependence.

The Use of Acupuncture

Acupuncture can be used to reduce or eliminate cravings and withdrawal and side-effects. According to The Good Earth Acupuncture, there are many research papers that have considered the benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of substance dependency. R.W Ackerman’s study on “Auricular Acupuncture for the Treatment of Chemical Dependency” (1992) is an excellent paper that outlines the benefits of ear acupuncture.[1] This mode of acupuncture has also been used for the treatment of food addiction and overeating.

Chinese Herbs

Oliver Cooperman’s “Traditional Chinese Medicine Characteristics in Addiction” reports that addiction results in “a pattern described as a Yin deficiency with Empty Heat.”[2] Cooperman also states that Chinese Herbs can help addiction patients respond favourably when the herbs used to treat actually nourish the Yin and clear the Empty Heat problems.

In China, the use of herbs is the standard treatment practice for addiction withdrawal. At one rehabilitation centre in the south, just near the infamous Golden Triangle region, a specially formulated capsule of concentrated Chinese herbs is used “to soothe the addiction withdrawal symptoms. The capsule, called xiangteng – fragrant vine – has been specially formulated by traditional medicine specialists in a research facility.”[3]

A good naturopath who is experienced with herbs and alternative treatments may be able to guide you, and will also be able to suggest other complementary modes of alternative treatment that can help you. You may need to also consult a dietician, a masseuse, or other practitioners. More severe cases may require live-in treatment, such as that provided by established therapeutic communities such as The Buttery in Australia. This rehabilitation programme offers a host of alternative modalities and treatments for its many clients who are entering into recovery from addiction.

Remember, alternative treatment and natural products can help you treat and overcome your addiction issues.

Good luck on your journey.


[1] http://www.chinesemedicinedoc.com/addiction/

[2] http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acu.2007.0552

[3] http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/chinese-addicts-get-cold-turkey-and-herbs/2005/06/24/1119321904271.html