A randomized trial of transcutaneous electric acupoint stimulation as adjunctive treatment for opioid detoxification.
This pilot study tested the effectiveness of transcutaneous electric acupoint stimulation (TEAS) as an adjunctive treatment for inpatients receiving opioid detoxification with buprenorphine-naloxone at a private psychiatric hospital. Participants (N = 48) were randomly assigned to active or sham TEAS and received three 30-minute treatments daily for 3 to 4 days. In active TEAS, current was set to maximal tolerable intensity (8-15 mA); in sham TEAS, it was set to 1 mA. By 2 weeks postdischarge, participants in active TEAS were less likely to have used any drugs (35% vs. 77%, p < .05). They also reported greater improvements in pain interference (F = 4.52, p < .05) and physical health (F = 4.84, p < .01) over time. TEAS is an acceptable, inexpensive adjunctive treatment that is feasible to implement on an inpatient unit and may be a beneficial adjunct to pharmacological treatments for opioid detoxification.
Meade, CS; Lukas, SE; McDonald, LJ; Fitzmaurice, GM; Eldridge, JA; Merrill, N; Weiss, RD
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