A review of the efficacy of acupuncture as treatment for opiate addiction, covering 33 years of reported literature in western scientific journals, was systematically undertaken. Some abstracts from Chinese language journals were also briefly reviewed. Supportive evidence often came from non-controlled nonblinded methodologies. When well-designed clinical trials (randomized, controlled, single-blind methodologies) were used, there was no significant evidence for acupuncture being a more effective treatment than controls. Some of the current supportive evidence for efficacy came from Chinese journals that have not been translated into English yet.