Drug and alcohol addiction can negatively affect people in a number of ways, causing changes in behavior, and causing harm to a person’s mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. Millions of people across the United States struggle with a drug or alcohol problem, but only one in ten of these people receive professional treatment.
Traditional treatment methods for addiction include medical and behavioral interventions such as individual counseling, group therapy, and medications to reduce substance cravings. Although this has helped many people overcome their addictions and begin a healthier life in recovery, for some, these types of treatments can also fall short.
Many addiction rehab programs across the U.S. and the world have begun integrating alternative types of treatment for addiction, known as holistic treatments.
Holistic rehab refers to a whole-person approach to treatment that targets the emotional and spiritual aspects of addiction as well as the physical and medical sides. This follows the belief that addiction can best be treated by exploring all of the ways a person can be harmed by their substance abuse – extending beyond just the visible or most severe symptoms.
Examples of common holistic treatments for addiction include:
- art and music therapy
- mindfulness and stress management
- yoga and tai chi
- nutritional counseling
- wilderness therapy
- equine therapy
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When implemented alongside traditional forms of treatment, holistic treatments can be beneficial to improve aspects of a person’s wellbeing that may have been harmed or neglected through their substance abuse. At The Treehouse, our holistic rehab program recognizes the combined benefit of patients participating in both traditional and holistic treatments.
Read on to learn about 6 key benefits of holistic addiction rehab programs, and treatments offered within holistic rehab at The Treehouse:
1. Offers A Whole-Person Approach
Holistic rehab programs follow the belief that treating the mind, body, and spirit is essential to helping a person achieve lasting recovery from addiction. This is often referred to as a ‘whole-person approach’.
This type of treatment approach allows patients to explore the various ways they’ve been affected by their substance use, from the physical strain on their body, to its effect on how they view themselves and the world around them. Holistic treatments also challenge patients to look within themselves to their motivations, desires, and what they hope for themselves moving forward.
2. Helpful for Stress Relief
Many holistic treatments can be beneficial in offering a natural and effective strategy for relieving stress, which can be useful for preventing relapse. Stress is a common trigger for people who abuse substances, and finding effective ways to relieve this can for some become the difference between returning to drug use and maintaining their sobriety.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), holistic treatments that have shown to be effective for short and long-term stress relief include acupuncture, meditation, and yoga among others.
3. Reduced Risk for Relapse And Long-Term Benefits
Holistic therapies such as mindfulness and meditation practice have shown to provide lasting benefit for a number of issues commonly experienced by those with substance use disorders.
In one 2014 study, for instance, two groups of people overcoming drug or alcohol abuse were followed over a 12-month period to assess the effectiveness of mindfulness practice for relapse prevention. One group participated in mindfulness and meditation groups alongside traditional treatments like counseling, while the other group only participated in the traditional treatments.
At both the six and 12-month follow-ups, the group that participated in mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP) reported significantly fewer days of drinking or using drugs compared to the traditional-treatment-only group. This shows that holistic therapies, when used in conjunction with traditional treatments, may often be more effective for preventing relapse over the long-term.
Other potential long-term benefits of common holistic treatments include:
- improved sleep
- healthy eating habits
- establishing a healthy exercise regime
- outlet for stress relief
- reduced drug or alcohol cravings
4. Introduces Patients To Low-Cost Coping Skills And Activities
One of the most common barriers to treatment for people with substance abuse problems is the cost of treatment. Although rehab programs themselves can become costly without insurance, several holistic treatments can often be continued following completion of a rehab program at little or no cost. This includes skills and activities such as yoga, using mindfulness skills, and engaging in healthy eating habits and exercise for holistic health.
5. Peaceful and Compassionate Environment for Treatment
More often than not, holistic rehab programs are run by treatment specialists who have a sincere desire to help patients find their path towards recovery, and thus understand how this can be affected by the tone and safety of a person’s environment.
Creating a peaceful environment, therefore, can often be a cornerstone of holistic treatment – offering a safe setting where patients can reflect on their needs and motivations for recovery.
6. Greater Variety of Treatment Options
Every person working to overcome drug or alcohol addiction has their own unique needs when it comes to finding the type of treatment that works for them. Addiction rehab programs that only offer traditional forms of treatment – such as counseling, psychoeducation, and medication – can be much more limited in this regard.
Holistic rehab programs, however, are more likely to offer a greater variety of treatment options, providing more opportunities for patients to discover treatments that speak to their personal needs. Music therapy, for instance, has shown to be a particularly useful treatment for teenagers, who may struggle more in a rehab program that is incapable of addressing the unique needs of younger patients.
Find Holistic Addiction Treatment In Texas
At The Treehouse, we believe there are a number of benefits that can come from exposing patients to a variety of treatment modalities, including both traditional and holistic treatment options.
Within our holistic rehab program, patients have the opportunity to explore the various ways addiction has harmed their emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing – and begin their path towards recovery. Our rehab programs are customizable for teenagers, dual diagnosis patients, adult women and men, and patients with other specific needs.
To learn more about the treatments offered within The Treehouse’s holistic addiction rehab program, contact one of our dedicated treatment specialists today.
- U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) — Mind and Body Approaches for Substance Use Disorders
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: PMC — The Use of Art and Music Therapy in Substance Abuse Treatment Programs