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Alternative Treatment


Incorporating a range of alternative treatment options into a traditional rehab therapy plan can help to improve the recovery success rate for many people. Alternative therapies tend to use a holistic approach to treatment, focusing on healing the body, mind, and spirit.

Many recovering people cite uncontrolled stress levels and poor self-esteem as being strong relapse triggers for returning to a pattern of addictive drug abuse. Yet alternative treatment options offer natural ways to reduce stress and promote relaxation, at the same time as relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression associated with the recovery process. Holistic therapies also help to improve self-esteem and create a sense of purpose that is often lacking in recovering addicts.

What is Alternative Addiction Treatment?

Alternative addiction treatments focus on a holistic approach that aims to treat the body, mind, and spirit.

Most traditional rehab treatment programs focus on treating the symptoms of the addiction and reducing the severity of any withdrawal symptoms that may emerge during the detox process. By comparison, holistic therapies use natural options to treat the entire person.

How is Alternative Treatment Beneficial for Addiction Recovery?

During the course of addictive drug use, it’s common for many users to compromise their personal values and moral beliefs as they try to sustain their addictions. The result often shows up as reduced self-esteem, low confidence levels, poor self-image, loss of identity, and lack of purpose.

Holistic alternative treatments work to restore a sense of balance back into a recovering addict’s life. Many alternative therapies promote relaxation, but many also provide a renewed sense of purpose that can help to rebuild self-esteem and improve self-worth.

After spending such extended periods of time focused entirely on finding, buying, using, and recovering from drug use, many people in recovery have no idea how to live life when they’re sober. Regular engagement in a variety of alternative therapies helps provide an outlet for expressing frustrations and emotions, at the same time as generating a sense of well-being.

Different Alternative Treatment Programs

The key to any successful addiction treatment program is to tailor the right therapies to suit each individual person’s own characteristics. The best way to find the right treatments for each person is to experiment with a range of different options to find out which ones deliver the best results.

Some types of alternative treatment programs include:

Creative Therapies: practicing any of the creative arts provides a positive form of expression for many people. Art, dance, painting, writing, sculpting, and drama therapies all offer different outlets that help to promote relaxation and create a sense of achievement.

Restorative Yoga: Yoga involves a range of physical poses and stretches combined with controlled breathing techniques that help to calm the mind, promote relaxation, reduce stress levels, and improve the body’s blood circulation. Yoga can be beneficial for helping to control cravings at the same time as relieving symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression.

Mindfulness Meditation: meditation is the practice of learning to calm the mind using controlled breathing techniques, which is ideal for providing stress relief. Meditation helps for reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, but also helps to improve concentration.

Equine Therapy: working with horses has been proven to reduce blood pressure and boost the body’s natural ‘feel-good’ endorphin levels that reduce pain and stress levels. It’s common for people who work with horses to discover a new sense of purpose and an improved sense of confidence when trusted with the task of caring for another living creature.

Exercise and Nutrition Therapy: it’s common for people recovering from addiction to have poor physical health due to bad nutrition and depletion of resources due to drug abuse. Nutrition therapy works to teach about the importance of a healthy, balance diet to help heal the damage caused by drug abuse. Exercise helps to boost the immune system and strengthen the body, at the same time as boosting the body’s natural endorphin levels to reduce stress.

Principles of Effective Treatment

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, effective addiction treatment needs to address multiple needs of the individual, and not just treat the symptoms of drug addiction alone. In order to improve the recovery success rate, it is crucial that the right combination of treatments is tailored to address the person’s substance dependency, treat any mental illnesses that may co-exist, and incorporate positive ways to treat the psychological triggers behind the addictive drug use.

Combining traditional addiction treatments with a range of alternative holistic therapies provides the best possible option for improving a recovering addict’s chances of living a sober life over the long term. For more information about the benefits of alternative treatment, dial an addiction specialist today.