NADA Protocol

The NADA model can be summarized and defined as follows:

(1) Clinicians use three to five ear acupuncture points including sympathetic, shenmen, lung, kidney, liver. Three points (sympathetic, shemmen, lung) are used in third world settings to save money without any apparent loss of effectiveness.

(2) Treatment is provided in a group setting for duration of 40—45 minutes.

(3) Acupuncture treatment is integrated with conventional elements of psycho-social rehabilitation.

(4) Several components of the Lincoln program are frequently combined with acupuncture in other treatment facilities. These items include: a supportive non-confrontational approach to individual counseling; an emphasis on Narcotics Anonymous and other 12 Step activities early in the treatment process; an absence of screening for appropriate patients; the use of herbal sleep mix; the use of frequent toxicologies; a willingness to work with court-related agencies; and a tolerant, informal, family-like atmosphere (Smith 1989). The author developed an herbal formula known as sleep mix which is used in most acupuncture for addiction settings and many other health care settings as well. The formula includes camomile, peppermint, yarrow, scullcap, hops, and catnip. These are inexpensive herbs, traditionally used in Europe, which are reputed to calm and soothe the nervous system and tend to stimulate circulation and the elimination of waste products. The herb formula is taken as a tea on a nightly basis or frequently during the day as symptoms indicate. Sleep mix can be used for the treatment of conventional stress and insomnia as well as providing an adjunctive support in addiction treatment settings. Sleep mix is particularly appropriate for the management of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Patients receiving conventional benzodiazepine treatment will often voluntarily refuse this medication if sleep mix is available.

Lincoln and many programs use magnetic beads for weekend treatments. The beads are attached to a square of adhesive. They are usually placed on the lung point, the shenmen point, or on the back of the ear on a “reverse shenmen” position. Only one point should be used bilaterally. Beads remain in place for 1-2 weeks if necessary. In addition to addiction related treatment, beads have been used for general stress relief and for ADHD and other childhood problems. A pilot study at Reed Academy in Framingham (MA) shows potentially promising results for autism spectrum disorders (Smith 2003). Ear Acupuncture in Addiction Treatment:By Dr. Michael O. Smith Medical Director, Substance Abuse Division, Lincoln Hospital, New York & Chairperson, NADA International