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The history of the Five Needle Protocol (5NP) for addiction starts, of course,  thousands of years ago with ancient Chinese discussions of acupuncture points of the ear.  Its full development, however, has come about only in the past 30 years.

The root of it was in the community response to heroin addiction in Harlem in New York.  The 5NP was intended as a treatment that could be done by lay people with little or no medical training. 

5NP training is still given in a week and graduates of the training are Acupuncture Detoxification Specialists (ADS) rather than acupuncturists.  The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) delivers the training, certifies ADS's, and registers the trainers.

Of course, many acupuncturists (like me) are also ADS's.  Each state decides by licensure who is and is not allowed to do acupuncture and not all states that license acupuncturists allow ADS's to practice.  (California, for example, does not allow ADS's to needle patients in that state.)

For more information on NADA, click here.