Acupuncture and Addiction

 Acupuncture for Addictions in South FloridaAs a complementary therapy along with a good 12 step program and counseling, acupuncture can be a powerful tool for drug addicton treatment and support. We believe it is the missing piece to the puzzle in treating addictions.

Acupuncture can be very successful in helping to curb the chemical addiction and behavioral compulsions that feed a person’s addiction to harmful substances or habits. Whether the nature of the addiction is chemical in nature, such as in the cases of substance abuse, alcohol dependency, food addiction and smoking, or behavioral like gambling, compulsive lying, or sex addiction, acupuncture can help to address the root problems and systemic imbalances in the body and provide a useful tool in cessation of the addiction.

“All I can say is that this is powerful. I’ve been in and out of treatment throughout my 20’s and 30’s until I discovered acupuncture. It made it easier to quit. It makes it easier to stay sober. It’s now part of my routine that keeps my life on track”.  ~ Monty – Coral Springs, Florida

There is more good news! Treatment is affordable and we also accept insurance. We are currently in network with many insurance carriers such as Aetna, Cigna and United Healthcare, and we also discount the price for those with Coventry, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Humana. If you are a cash patient, we have very affordable rates for this type of specialized treatment because we want to make it accessible for those in need.

Please call us at 954-586-2273 to get our current rates or to verify your insurance. Robert Herbst AP, DOM has years of experience treating patients in drug court in West Palm Beach and at the Salvation Army in Ft. Lauderdale. He also has a master’s degree in clinical psychology focusing on dual diagnosis.

Read a patient’s account on how acupuncture has helped in her recovery.


Acupuncture can help you become you again. It is a powerful tool to help you stay sober.

Acupuncture truly does help people recover from drug and alcohol addictions and is used in clinics through the United States. Acupuncture can decrease cravings for your drug of choice, reduce withdrawal symptoms, lessen tension, and help you relax and quiet your mind. Acupuncture treatments clear the mind, boost energy, and give a person a sense of well being.

According to Chinese tradition, placing acupuncture needles in the ear affect specific organs such as the liver and kidneys. Western science has confirmed that acupuncture treatments change levels of chemicals in the body and act on the nervous system. Acupuncture itself is not a substitute for therapy but is used in addition to counseling and self-help programs.

How it all began – One day in the early 1970’s, H.L. Wen, MD., then the only neurosurgeon in all of South China and Hong Kong, was preparing to use electro-acupuncture as surgical analgesia and the patient, who happened to be experiencing withdrawal symptoms from opium at the time, reported his symptoms had disappeared. Wen canceled the surgery and scouted the hospital for other patients in withdrawal. He gave his pre-op procedure to them and their symptoms also ceased. Acupuncture for substance abuse was born.


Auricular Acupuncture is acupuncture in the ear and is derived from the Chinese medicine theory of recovery. There are five designated points that correspond to body organs, which are stimulated to lessen the cravings and withdrawal symptoms experienced by addicts during stages of recovery. These five points are:

  • Lung
  • Shenmen
  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Sympathetic

Auricular acupuncture is especially effective in reducing cravings, helping insomnia, anxiety, depression, ADD and helps to heal the organs of the body that have been damaged by drugs or alcohol. It has proven to increase the body’s natural production of endorphins and aid in the alcohol addiction recovery process.


  • Acupuncture can help to detoxify the body of the substance that triggers the addictive component.
  • By calming the mind and one’s compulsiveness, acupuncture can also help to address the behavioral nature of addiction.
  • Acupuncture has been shown to increase will power to help you stay clean.
  • Acupuncture can help reduce cravings for your drug of choice.
  • Acupuncture can help with unwanted side effects of detoxing such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, extreme irritability, and insomnia.
  • Acupuncture treatments release endorphins into the nervous system. Endorphins promote feelings of health, positive thought processes, upbeat attitudes, and promote the sense of general well being.
  • Safe and natural, there are virtually no adverse effects of acupuncture treatments.


Your acupuncturist will go over your medical/health history with you, perform what we call a TCM diagnosis (tongue and pulse diagnosis), and then insert 5 sterile, painless, hair like needles into specific areas on both ears. After that you sit (or lie down) and relax for 30 – 40 minutes with the needles retained in your ears. Sometimes additional points on the body are used if appropriate.

The experience is quiet and relaxing, contrary to what you might think, and most people report feeling calm, relaxed, and slightly euphoric after the treatment. It is a very powerful and sometimes cathartic experience that has a very strong potential to help you get and stay sober.

Learn more about how acupuncture works at the Frequently Asked Questions about Acupuncture section, or call 954-586-2273 for a Free Consultation.