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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Miller

What is NADA Protocol?

The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association was formed in 1985 as a not-for-profit training and advocacy organization promoting wellness through a standardized acupuncture protocol for behavioral health, focusing on addiction, mental health and disaster trauma.  In the 1970s at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx, NY, a medical doctor named Michael Smith began using ear (auricular) acupoints in the treatment of drug withdrawal with the idea that this could offer an alternative to methadone.

What began as an experiment with only one ear point evolved over ten years into a structured protocol of five points that can be used in a variety of settings.  Because there is no pattern discrimination between patients, the NADA system is often taught to non-acupuncturists who can administer the needles in remote and/or under-served communities.  This acupuncture protocol has been widely studied, and is gaining acceptance for its application to a broad population that includes abuse survivors, combat veterans and people in various stages of recovery.

For more information, go to, which is the official NADA website.

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