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An Evaluation of Acu-detox at DAPL by Stuart Watkins

By 16th September 2016October 13th, 2016Reports
Acu-detox at DAPL


DAPL offers one to one counselling, support, information and advice to individuals and families who are affected by substance use and live within Fife. The service is free and confidential and offered by experienced workers. DAPL provides a complimentary service in which Auricular Acupuncture (Acu-detox) is offered to interested clients. This complementary therapy is specifically geared towards any form of addiction.

This report is based on the findings of people who finished a programme of auricular acupuncture (Acu-detox) between June 2015 and November 2015. The programme consisted of weekly sessions lasting up to 45 minutes.


A total of eight participants were asked to complete evaluations to assess the effectiveness of auricular acupuncture, after completing a six-week programme. The evaluations asked them to identify on a weekly basis whether the following sixteen factors on a scale of 1 to 10 had improved, stayed the same or worsened throughout the treatment: cravings for drugs/alcohol, withdrawal symptoms, chronic pains/aches/cramps, headaches, depression/anxiety, fear and paranoia, hostility/anger, concentration, stress and worry, sickness/worry, sleep patterns, self esteem, appetite, relaxation, positive group interaction and criminal activity.

Clients were asked to leave blank or write N/A next to those factors that were not applicable to them i.e. those that had not been an issue prior to the treatment or formed part of the referral, as the evaluation was specifically looking for changes in existing factors.


The pie charts identify the percentage of participants that reported an improvement, a worsening and no change. No charts have been produced for factors where 100% of participants reported improvement i.e. self-esteem and stress and worry; and for factors that was indicated as N/A i.e. criminal active

Chart 1 – Cravings for Drugs/Alcohol

Chart 2 – Withdrawal symptoms

Chart 3 – Fear and Paranoia

Chart 4 – Hostility /Anger

Chart 5 – Depression/Anxiety

Chart 6 – Concentration

Chart 7 – Relaxation

Chart 8 – Positive Group Interaction

Chart 9 – Sickness/Nausea

Chart 10 – Chronic Pain/Aches

Chart 11 – Appetite

Chart 12 – Sleep Patterns

Chart 13 – Headaches

The following table shows the average improvement rates reported by the participants using an evaluation form filled out on a weekly basis using a scale of 1 to 10.



Cravings for Drugs/Alcohol


Withdrawal symptoms


Chronic Pain/Aches/Cramps






Fear and Paranoia






Stress and Worry




Sleep Patterns








Positive group interaction


Criminal Activity


In addition to the evaluation form, the participants were asked to provide informal feedback on the treatment each week, this was collated and these are some of the comments provided.

Note the client’s names were abbreviated to protect their anonymity.

AC – Needed that, so good to relax, feeling good within. Not as sore, must be healing within, feeling good. It has helped me better than medicine from doctor, will keep coming for as long as it is there. This treatment has helped me, totally missed it for the weeks I was on holiday, glad to get the treatment again.

SM – Excellent session, very relaxing and stress free. Cravings have halved since first session, sleeping better. Very relaxing, still helping with cravings. Great session, totally relaxing. Very relaxing, helped to ease my mind and feel less stressed. Mood has definitely improved in the last couple of sessions, finding it easier to stay centred and calm, also sleeping better. Stress levels have gone down, coping much better with things, feeling better about myself.

KD – Lovely and relaxing. Feeling tired during the week after session. Putting me off drink, felt relaxed and stress free. Really stressed today helps me to totally relax. Acupuncture doing good another relaxing session. Relaxing, slept a lot last week.

AS – Very relaxing. Fantastic. Felt relaxed and chilled out. Aids relaxation, drinking less. Sleeping better alcohol consumption much reduced. Cravings have reduced, better nights sleep. Alcohol consumption greatly reduced.

ML – Felt relaxed, made welcome. Good relaxing session, felt results from last session. Things have been really good, I feel that its doing the trick. Great session, alcohol reduced quite a lot, drug use also. Good session acupuncture helps and the magnets help to. Good session, feeling that it works, taking time to get clean and sober, thanks. Yet another good session, 25 days no drink or drugs, happy days, thanks.

AM – Very relaxing and enjoyable. Enjoyed this session very much was very relaxing. Very relaxing, had two drinks in three weeks, that’s very good for me.

Conclusion and Recommendations

This report conclusively shows a positive benefit for Acudetox as an adjunct treatment, assisting within the recovery process of addictions. Feedback from the participants show the many health benefits that were experienced during the process as well as the reduction of cravings and withdrawals from their addiction. Based on the findings of this report and taking into account the accumulative effect of Acudetox, the recommendation is to continue with Acudetox treatments but with an increased frequency of sessions.