The effects of acupuncture on withdrawal symptoms in recovering substance abusers

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Title: The effects of acupuncture on withdrawal symptoms in recovering substance abusers
Authors: Sam, Clouthier
Maludzinski, Gavin
Date: 2015-04-11
Abstract: Background: According to Stats Canada, 6 million Canadians meet the criteria for a substance use disorder. Withdrawal symptoms include any physical or psychological discomfort experienced upon cessation of substance use, such as hallucinations, seizures, mild headaches, trouble sleeping or increased agitation. There have been various anecdotal and documented benefits of the use of acupuncture to treat withdrawal symptoms, but more research is needed to explore this relationship. Objective: To determine the effects of acupuncture on withdrawal symptoms in recovering substance abusers. Methods: We completed a structured literature review to investigate the effects of acupuncture of withdrawal symptoms. Results: Of all of the studies examined (n=16), seven studies reported that acupuncture significantly improved withdrawal symptoms compared to the control group. Nine studies reported no difference between the treatment and control groups. Discussion: Results indicate low levels of association between treatment methods and outcome measures. Several biases and confounders were inherent of the treatment methods and study population. Limitations included only searching two databases and potentially too stringent of inclusion criteria. Future studies should explore ways to increase blinding techniques, as well as select specific drugs and withdrawal symptoms to analyze. Conclusion: The majority of studies indicated no difference between the experimental and control groups. The significance of these findings suggest that more research is needed, and until more compelling results emerge, acupuncture may not be considered evidence-based.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/32288
CollectionSciences de la santé - Affiches // Health Sciences - Research Posters
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