This exploratory study evaluated the benefits of adding auricular acupuncture to a 21-day outpatient structured psychoeducational treatment program for women with concurrent substance use problems, anxiety, and depression. Women receiving acupuncture (n = 185) reported having reduced physiological cravings for substances, felt significantly less depressed, less anxious, and were better able to reflect on and resolve difficulties than women in the control group (n = 101). It was found that auricular acupuncture, as an adjunct therapy to a comprehensive psychoeducational treatment program for women with addictions, shows promise in being an effective, more viable treatment alternative to anxiolytics.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Dr Courbasson); the Community Mental Health, Addictions After Care and Senior Wellness Programs (Dr de Sorkin) and Community Mental Health and Addiction Service (Ms Dullerud), Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network; and the Jean Tweed Centre (Ms Van Wyk), Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Corresponding author: Christine M.A. Courbasson, PhD, CPsych, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 33 Russell St, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 2S1 (e-mail: Christine_Courbasson@camh.net).
The authors are grateful for the assistance of Jacqueline Heron, Rida Walis, and Jacqueline M. Brunshaw for data analysis, report writing, and editing.