Opioid dependence is an increasing public health problem all over the world. Patients with opioid dependence have to receive methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) as replacement therapy for years or even for their entire life. Acupuncture as a kind of therapy has been used to treat substance dependence for many years. Jin’s three-needle acupuncture (JTN), a type of acupuncture technique, has been applied to treat various diseases for several decades. However, JTN as an acupuncture technique has not been used to treat patients receiving MMT. Therefore, we designed a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of acupuncture as adjunctive therapy for patients receiving MMT.
This study is a parallel-arm, randomized controlled trial that aims to evaluate the efficacy and safety of acupuncture as adjunctive therapy for patients receiving MMT. A total of 140 eligible participants who range in age from 18 to 60 years and fulfil the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-V), for opiate dependence will be enrolled into this study. All eligible participants will be randomly assigned to the acupuncture group or routine group in a 1:1 allocation ratio. Participants who are enrolled in the acupuncture group will receive MMT and JTN treatment for 30 min per session. Meanwhile, those who are assigned to the routine arm will receive MMT only. All 18 sessions of JTN treatment will be delivered over 6 weeks (3 per week) and followed by a 4-week follow-up period. The primary outcome measure will be the visual analogue scale (VAS) for drug craving and the daily consumption of methadone (DCOM). Secondary outcome measures will include the urine test for opioid use, the 36-item Short Form Survey (SF-36), the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II) and Pittsburgh sleep quality index (PSQI). VAS, DCOM, BAI, BDI-II and the urine test for opioid use will be evaluated at baseline, the second week, the fourth week, the sixth week and the tenth week. SF-36 and PSQI will be assessed at baseline, the fourth week, the sixth week and the tenth week.
The results of this trial will provide evidence on the efficacy and safety of acupuncture as adjunctive therapy for patients receiving MMT.
Chinese Clinical Trial Registry ChiCTR1900026357 . Registered on 2 October 2019.