Addiction Treatment In Swansea

couple of children rowing on a lakeAuricular acupuncture (ear acupuncture) and whole body acupuncture has been used for over 40 years now to treat addictions. Pioneered in Hong Kong in 1973 as a way of alleviating opiate withdrawal symptoms, it evolved in new York City’s Lincoln hospital. The protocol pioneered there decades ago is still widely used today. Five fine gauge needles are put into the ear in specific points deemed important for chemical dependency.

Addiction Treatment

Drug treatment can be divided into the stages of detoxification, rehabilitation and relapse prevention. Acupuncture is used all stages of drug treatment.


Detoxification refers to the initial phase when a patient is experiencing the direct effects of drug withdrawal. The therapeutic goals are to counteract the effects of drug withdrawal and return the individual to a relatively balanced or normal state. This stage can take up to 7 days of treatment. Acupuncture can be useful in this stage to relieve physical symptoms of withdrawal.


Rehabilitation is the second stage of treatment for substance dependence. It begins after detoxification. The patient is educated about the negative effects of drugs and motivated to admit that substance abuse is a problem. Effective strategies are developed to ensure sustained behavioural change.

This stage varies in duration and treatment setting from 15-90 days or more. Acupuncture may be used to induce a general state of relaxation and well-being. If acupuncture alone is not sufficient to effect such change in mood state the patient must seek out appropriate psychological support from other therapeutic methods such as counseling or behavioral therapy.

Relapse Prevention

Relapse prevention is the third stage of treatment and begins near the rehabilitation phase. The goals are to maintain the gains achieved in earlier phases of treatment and to develop strategies for resisting the temptation to use drugs in the future. Acupuncture is used here to encourage relaxation and relieve or prevent symptoms of drug craving.

How Successful Is Acupuncture For Addictions

Whilst acupuncture has been shown effective in trials for drug misuse , it has been shown less successful in clinical trials for stopping smoking. This may be due to the design of the trials. Or it may be the inability to address the psychosocial aspects of smoking within a well designed clinical trial. Smoking is a habit. The smoker may need adjunctive help with behavioural therapy and counseling to address both the habit and the social nature of the addiction.

How Can Acupuncture Help With Addictions?

Acupuncture can help with physical symptoms of withdrawal and induce a feeling of relaxation and well-being. In my opinion it works at its best with adjunctive talking based therapy.

Acupuncture with Tim in Swansea

Tim Wright Acupuncturist in SwanseaI have a BSc Honours degree in acupuncture, a License to practice acupuncture, a Diploma in Tui Na (Chinese Massage) and a ma Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga teacher. I am also a full member of the British Acupuncture Council and have a licence to practice from Swansea County Council.

I trained at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in Reading and was fortunate enough to have been supervised by some of the best acupuncturists in Europe, including Peter Mole and Angela Hicks.

If you would like to discuss more or book a treatment please contact me on 01792 366288 or email