Acupuncture can be used to treat a person in opiate withdrawal
Addiction to opiates is relatively common. Painkillers are prescribed for a variety of conditions but they can be habit forming. Specifically, in any opiate addiction, the brain is reprogramed.
Studies have shown that the use of electroacupuncture can be used to help reprogram the brain. In laymen's terms, it makes the highs less high and the lows less low.
For example, this study from 2010, shows that rats injected with morphine subsequently showed a "down-regulation of preprodynorphin (PPD) mRNA level was observed in spinal cord, PAG and hypothalamus 60 h after the last morphine injection, which could be reversed by multiple sessions, but not a single session of [Electro Acupuncture]." Similarly, post morphine, they observed an "up-regulation of p-CREB in the three CNS regions," but both the down-regulation of PPD and the up-regulation of p-CREB could be reversed by multiple treatments of electro-acupuncture. In other words, morphine helps the body forget how to soothe itself, but electro-acupuncture can help it remember.
Similarly, this randomized clinical trial showed that people experiencing Rapid Opiate Detoxification all experienced withdrawal symptoms, but those receiving acupuncture reported less severe symptoms than those who did not receive acupuncture.