The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association’s auricular acupuncture protocol, commonly called the NADA protocol, is commonly used for treating various addictions ranging from smoking cessation, to substance abuse and withdrawal. It is an auricular acupuncture protocol that has a set number of points that are needled in both ears. The actions of these points help people recover from substance abuse by helping in the detoxification process and helping with emotional, physical and psychological factors associated with the addiction.
Research has looked at the NADA protocol in smoking cessation, cocaine addiction, psychoactive drug withdrawal, and alcohol dependence in recent years. Despite how popular the NADA protocol has become in addictions treatment, quality research is still lacking. Consequently, when one looks at all the research, it appears to be inconclusive on the efficacy of this treatment. However, when you look at the research studies that have been done closely, there are serious shortcomings since the studies lack consistency in their methodology. Some have measured effectiveness of the NADA protocol by measuring if the patient turns to the substance of their choice. Other studies have compared effectiveness of the NADA protocol by comparing it against sham acupuncture or no intervention. However, none of the studies have combined auricular acupuncture with other interventions when it comes to treating the addiction.
The NADA protocol when combined with other treatments such as botanical tinctures for smoking cessation or substance withdrawal increases the patient’s ability to cope with the emotional and physical demands as their body detoxifies. In order to effectively quit smoking or alcohol dependence, old habits need to be broken and replaced with new healthy habits and coping mechanisms. The ultimate test comes down to when a stressful situation arises and how one is able to cope without turning to the substance of their previous dependency. The auricular acupuncture helps to provide the additional support needed to this effectively.
The main five points in the NADA protocol are:
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