Lasers Med Sci. 2004;19(2):100-4.

Use of low-energy laser as adjunct treatment of alcohol addiction.

Zalewska-Kaszubska J, Obzejta D.

Department of Pharmacodynamics, Medical University, Muszynskiego 1, 90-151 Lodz, Poland.

Auricular acupuncture is a medical method that has been used in the treatment of alcohol addiction. In our study we decided to intensify this method by additional biostimulation of the whole organism. The aim of this study was the therapy of patients with alcohol dependence syndrome. Fifty-three alcoholics were treated with two types of laser stimulation in four sessions. Each session consisted of 20 consecutive daily helium-neon laser neck biostimulations and 10 auricular acupuncture treatments with argon laser (every 2nd day). The Beck Depression Inventory-Fast Screen (BDI-FS) was used to assess their frame of mind before the session and after 2 months of treatment. Moreover, beta-endorphin plasma concentration was estimated five times using the radioimmunoassay (RIA) method. Improvement in BDI-FS and increase in, beta-endorphin level were observed. These results suggest that laser therapy can be useful as an adjunct treatment for alcoholism.

Alcohol. 2003 Jul-Aug;38(4):369-75. 

Acupuncture for alcohol withdrawal: a randomized controlled trial.

Trümpler F, Oez S, Stähli P, Brenner HD, Jüni P.

Psychiatric Hospital Münsingen, 3110 Münsingen, Switzerland.


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Previous trials on acupuncture in alcohol addiction were in outpatients and focused on relapse prevention. Rates of dropout were high and interpretation of results difficult. We compared auricular laser and needle acupuncture with sham laser stimulation in reducing the duration of alcohol withdrawal.

METHODS: Inpatients undergoing alcohol withdrawal were randomly allocated to laser acupuncture (n = 17), needle acupuncture (n = 15) or sham laser stimulation (n = 16). Attempts were made to blind patients, therapists and outcome assessors, but this was not feasible for needle acupuncture. The duration of withdrawal symptoms (as assessed using a nurse-rated scale) was the primary outcome; the duration of sedative prescription was the secondary outcome.

RESULTS: Patients randomized to laser and sham laser had identical withdrawal symptom durations (median 4 days). Patients randomized to needle stimulation had a shorter duration of withdrawal symptoms (median 3 days; P = 0.019 versus sham intervention), and tended to have a shorter duration of sedative use, but these differences diminished after adjustment for baseline differences.

CONCLUSIONS: The data from this pilot trial do not suggest a relevant benefit of auricular laser acupuncture for alcohol withdrawal. A larger trial including adequate sham interventions is needed, however, to reliably determine the effectiveness of any type of auricular acupuncture in this condition.

Zh Nevropatol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova 1984;84(9):1377-80.

Reflexotherapy of neurologic complications in chronic alcoholism

[Article in Russian]

Anishchenko GIa, Kokhanov VP, Kochetkov VD, Lysikova TP.


To alleviate neurological complications (extrapyramidal and hypothalamic syndromes, polyneuropathies and polyneuritis) associated with chronic alcoholism, 227 patients received different variants of acupuncture (classical acupuncture with needles, electropuncture, laser puncture). During the first three days, to control the abstinence syndrome, all patients received classical acupuncture. Further application of one or another method of acupuncture was determined by the degree of neurological complications. The treatment was most effective in a group of patients with polyneuropathies and polyneuritis, whereas patients with the hypothalamic syndrome proved poorly responsive to the treatment.