In a research study published by Kroening and Oleson, the application of a rapid detoxification procedure for narcotics was provided to 14 chronic pain patients to support withdrawal from opiate pain medications — and help reduce or avoid the severe withdrawal signs which accompany detoxification in chronic pain patients taking high levels of analgesic medications. After first switching all patients to oral methadone, each patient received bilateral electrical stimulation to needles inserted in the corresponding reflex points on the ear for lung and shen men acupuncture points. This was followed by periodic intravenous injections of low doses of naloxone. Twelve (85.7%) of the patients were completely withdrawn from the narcotic opiate medications within 2-7 days, while experiencing only minimal (or zero) side effects. The relationship between electroacupuncture and endorphin release, supports an explanation for the positive results.
Kroening RJ, Oleson TD. Rapid narcotic detoxification in chronic pain patients treated with auricular electroacupuncture and naloxone. Int J Addict. 1985 Sep;20(9):1347-60. (link to abstract only)