One of the most remarkable accomplishments in addiction recovery over the last few years is the new concept of alternative addiction treatments. These alternative treatments are becoming more and more mainstream, and they will continue to become more commonly used in the upcoming years!
Holistic or mind-body treatments are other names for these alternative addiction treatments. Their purpose is to “restore physical health and emotional equilibrium in their entirety.” Makes sense, right? By teaching people with substance abuse about their mental AND physical health, they will be better equipped to deal with their addiction.
Some of these techniques include (from the Promises Austin website):
- Nutritional Therapy
- Animal, Art, and Music therapy
- Tai Chi/Martial Arts
- Massage Therapy
- Aquatic Therapy
Many addicts chose to include these techniques into their programs for a more holistic approach to their recovery process, and more treatment facilities are adding them into their centers. They are “making a significant impact on the addiction treatment industry as a whole.”
One thing to note is that addiction specialists teach that these techniques should be used in ADDITION to traditional methods of recovery (medication, family therapy, etc.) to “supplement” in the process, not to “substitute” for them. By doing all of these things, the addict will have more tools to fight their addiction more successfully and positively!
Why do they work?
By pushing addicts to look at the world in a new way, change their lifestyles, and alter their attitudes about certain topics, they will be impacted more beneficially than “psychotherapy and medication.”
Traditional methods of addiction recovery encourage addicts to form coping skills and teach them how to elude themselves from triggers. These new alternative methods go one step further; they teach addicts how to form positive thoughts, fill voids with other things than drugs and alcohol, and become a better person in all aspects. These techniques could bring an addict further than traditional methods ever could.
Some advantages of these new treatments include:
- Teaching them the power of mind-body approaches like yoga and meditation for better mental health
- Engaging their patients by keeping them interested in their own health and decreasing their chances of leaving
- Teaching them how to feel stronger in situations where there are temptations for relapse
- Being able to better customize treatments for each individual person for their success
- Teaching patients how to change their mindsets to “regenerate self-esteem and self-confidence”
- Allowing patients to feel more hopeful and less discouraged
When these newer treatments are added to pre-existing approaches, addicts are able to gain an appreciation for the interdependent relationship between their mind and body. These psychological tools are a powerful necessity for an addict to cope with life’s challenges and triggers of their addiction.
What do skeptics say?
Of course, there will always be skeptics when something new comes around that challenges their traditional approaches. Skeptics challenge the “usefulness” of these techniques since there is a lack of studies that prove their effectiveness.
“That is more of a commentary on the state of medical research than a knock against alternative therapies,” says the article. More research will be done in the future to verify how effective and beneficial these techniques are!
They aren’t going anywhere!
This growth of alternative addiction treatments will continue to increase as more research is conducted. The purpose of the treatments is to provide a holistic approach to addiction recovery, resulting in a healthier person as a whole. They will become more prominent in the years to come.