Recommendation ID
Is acupuncture effective in reducing alcohol consumption compared with standard care?
Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)
Why this is important:- Non-pharmacological treatments are an important therapeutic option for people with alcohol-related problems. There is an evidence base for acupuncture in reducing craving but not alcohol consumption in a number of small trials. The evidence for pharmacological treatments (for example, acamprosate or naltrexone) and psychological treatments (for example, cognitive behavioural therapies and social network and environment-based therapies) is modest at best and the treatments are not effective for everyone. Anecdotal evidence suggests that acupuncture, like psychological treatment, is valued by service users both in alcohol misuse and substance misuse services (although the evidence base for effectiveness is weak). The results of this study will have important implications for increased treatment choice in the NHS for people who misuse alcohol.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Alcohol-use disorders: diagnosis, assessment and management of harmful drinking (high-risk drinking) and alcohol dependence
Date issued
February 2011

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No