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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 313549, 13 pages
Review Article

Efficacy of Acupuncture for Psychological Symptoms Associated with Opioid Addiction: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

1Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1200 Cailun Road, Shanghai 200032, China
2College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Xinjiang Medical University, Ürümqi 830011, China

Received 14 May 2014; Revised 27 June 2014; Accepted 18 July 2014; Published 4 November 2014

Academic Editor: Yi-Hung Chen

Copyright © 2014 Zhang Boyuan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This review systematically assessed the clinical evidence for and against acupuncture as a treatment for psychological symptoms associated with opioid addiction. The database was accessed from MEDLINE and China Knowledge Resource Integrated Database. We included all randomized clinical trials published in Chinese and English regardless of their controls. Meta-analysis was performed using the RevMan software, version 5.2. We conducted a literature search of 16 databases from their inception to January 2014. Four studies from Western countries did not report any clinical gains in the treatment of psychological symptoms associated with opioid addiction. 10 of 12 studies from China have reported positive findings regarding the use of acupuncture to treat the psychological symptoms associated with opioid addiction. The methodological quality of the included studies was poor. The meta-analysis indicated that there was a significant difference between the treatment group and the control group for anxiety and depression associated with opioid addiction, although groups did not differ on opioid craving. This review and meta-analysis could not confirm that acupuncture was an effective treatment for psychological symptoms associated with opioid addiction. However, considering the potential of acupuncture demonstrated in the included studies, further rigorous randomized controlled trials with long followup are warranted.