Some programs are non-medical or rely only on holistic treatments to treat drug addiction or alcoholism, while others blend these alternative therapies with traditional and/or evidence-based addiction treatment. Holistic addiction treatment that uses evidence-based practices is often recommended over programs that don’t.
These blended programs are more equipped to treat the underlying causes of addiction. Because of this, programs that also use research-based treatments are generally more effective than programs that use only holistic therapies. Integrated programs are typically best for people who are severely addicted or who have a dual diagnosis mental health disorder as well.
Choosing the right holistic substance abuse treatment program could help a person heal from the damaging lifestyle of addiction so that they can achieve long-term sobriety.
Holistic Drug And Alcohol Rehab Programs
Holistic drug rehab programs, sometimes referred to as alternative drug and alcohol rehab programs, use a mind-body-spirit approach to treat addiction. This allows treatment clinicians to address the ways addiction has damaged a person emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Holistic programs believe that the body, mind, and spirit are all connected, that is, when one of these areas suffers, the health of the other two can decline as well. The thought is that by treating each of these aspects a person can achieve greater overall health and well-being.
While many holistic drug rehab programs provide individualized care for people from all walks of life, more specialized care may be available in a holistic residential addiction treatment program. These programs offer special programs, therapies, educational classes, or amenities that cater to certain needs or lifestyles.
This may include inpatient holistic drug rehab programs for:
- executives or professionals
- LGBTQIA+ individuals
Individuals who want high-end amenities at an upscale treatment facility may prefer a holistic luxury drug rehab program.
Both short- and long-term holistic drug rehab programs exist, with treatment lengths ranging from 30 days to six months or more.
How Holistic Drug Rehab Programs Treat Addiction
Addiction can cause major damage to a person’s body, including serious health and medical problems. As this occurs, a person’s mental, emotional, and spiritual health can suffer as well.
Drug and alcohol abuse, especially the compulsive use that accompanies addiction, can change how a person thinks and how their brain functions. Even more, chronic substance abuse can cause mental health problems or aggravate symptoms of an existing mental illness.
Many people use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate these effects, and in doing so, cause greater damage to their psychological and spiritual health. These behaviors can also make the addiction more severe.
Instead of treating each symptom or problem separately, holistic drug rehab programs seek to break this cycle by treating the person as a whole. Treatments will work in harmony with each other to promote mind-body-spirit wellness.
The goals of holistic drug rehab programs may include:
- reducing the physical symptoms of withdrawal
- cleansing the body of toxins
- improving physical health and wellness
- teaching balanced eating and good nutrition
- reducing stress
- balancing emotional health
- spiritual grounding
Providing holistic care during rehab could help a person heal from addiction. It could also help them develop positive habits of self-care that support sobriety, both during treatment and throughout recovery.
Holistic Drug And Alcohol Detox Programs
Holistic drug and alcohol detox programs use alternative treatments to reduce withdrawal symptoms and to help a person’s body cleanse. However, these treatments may not be safe or effective options for many people who need a supervised withdrawal from alcohol or drugs.
Certain substances, such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, and opioids like heroin, fentanyl, or prescription painkillers can form severe dependence. A person dependent on any of these drugs may need a medical detox program to safely and successfully withdrawal.
Withdrawal from these substances can be accompanied by intense cravings, pain, and discomfort. Without medical intervention, these symptoms may become so intense that a person contemplates relapse.
Even more, certain complications of withdrawal can be dangerous. In the case of alcohol and benzodiazepines, withdrawal could even be deadly.
In the absence of a medically-supervised detox program, a person will not likely have immediate access to the medications, treatment, and medical professionals that could provide potentially life-saving care at this time.
If a person needs to detox prior to rehab and is interested in holistic treatments, it may be best if they choose a program that uses holistic treatments to support a medically supervised detox program. In this role, holistic treatments could ease stress, promote healing, and help a person feel more comfortable at this time.
Holistic Drug And Alcohol Rehab Program Treatments
Holistic treatments may also be referred to as integrative health care or therapies, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), or simply alternative therapies. In certain instances, a combination of these treatments may also be called functional medicine.
Holistic treatments for drug addiction and alcoholism may include:
Traditional alternative medicine:
- naturopathy (naturopathic medicine)
- Chinese or Oriental medicine
- body movement therapies
- breathing exercises
- chiropractic medicine
- infrared sauna
- osteopathic medicine
- progressive muscle relaxation
- tai chi
Dietary, herbal, and nutritional support:
- dietary guidance
- dietary supplements
- herbal medicine
- nutritional guidance
External energy therapy:
- electromagnetic therapy
Therapies for the mind:
Therapies that stimulate the senses:
- art therapy
- dance therapy
- guided imagery
- music therapy
A growing number of holistic rehab facilities are offering other exciting treatments, including equine, pet, adventure, or wilderness therapies.
Choosing A Holistic Addiction Treatment Program
In order for a holistic drug rehab program to be successful, it should treat the underlying causes of addiction, such as mental health problems or trauma.
While some people may wish to use only holistic or natural addiction treatments during detox, rehab, or both, this isn’t always the best or safest way to treat a substance use disorder.
This can be especially true for people who:
- are addicted to more than one substance
- are severely addicted
- have been addicted for a long period of time
- have a mental illness that occurs with addiction
Individuals who are facing one or more of these conditions may require a higher level of care than is offered in a non-medical program that uses only holistic treatments.
People with these needs may be better served in a program that combines holistic therapies with medications and psychotherapy. Typically, this integrated approach is recommended over programs that only treat drug and alcohol addiction with holistic therapies.
Further, these individuals may do better in a holistic inpatient addiction treatment program, versus an outpatient program. A holistic residential drug rehab program generally gives a person more time to take part in therapies, both holistic and research-based. With more intensive care, a person could have a better chance of obtaining long-term sobriety.
Holistic Therapies And Evidence-Based Treatments For Addiction
Though some holistic treatment programs don’t use medications, psychotherapies, or other evidence-based treatments for addiction, many do. Just as holistic treatments are adapted to a person’s unique needs, so should be these treatment plans.
Medications are a key component of addiction treatment for many individuals, especially for those who are addicted to opioids or alcohol.
Most commonly, medications are combined with behavioral therapies to address the physical and mental components of addiction, an approach called medication-assisted treatment.
Behavioral therapies that may be used both with and without medications include:
- cognitive behavioral therapy
- dialectical behavior therapy
- eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
- motivational interviewing
- 12-step facilitation therapy
Therapy may also be supported by counseling. Either may be offered in individual, group, and family sessions.
Some people need medication-assisted treatment only during detox. However, others may need medications to help them maintain abstinence from drugs or alcohol during rehab and into their recovery.
Others yet may need medications to treat a co-occurring mental health disorder as part of their holistic dual diagnosis addiction treatment plan. In this instance, behavioral therapies are generally used as well.
Holistic Drug Rehab Program Benefits
A number of alternative programs may refer to themselves as holistic non-12-step drug rehab programs. Instead of adhering to the 12-step model of treatment, these programs generally treat each person individually.
Traditional 12-step programs encourage people to rely on a higher power as a major part of their recovery from drugs or alcohol. While these programs work for many, some individuals are not comfortable with the spiritual components or prefer to take a more active role in their recovery.
Holistic programs allow for a more personalized, hands-on approach to addiction treatment. Instead of following set step work, a person’s treatment plan is individualized to meet their physical, mental, and spiritual health needs.
In the addicted state, many people ignore their health and important habits of self-care. Learning healthy habits of self-care is a critical part of recovery. Many holistic therapies that are encountered during rehab, such as dietary supplements, yoga, and meditation may be beneficial after a person leaves treatment.
Stress is one of the most common triggers for relapse. A large number of holistic treatments can help people release stress and cope with it in healthier ways. Mindfulness, breathing exercises, guided imagery, and meditation can all be useful in this way.
The addition of holistic therapies to a person’s treatment plan may keep them more engaged in treatment and increase their level of satisfaction. In turn, a person may be more motivated to participate in treatment and more apt to stay with the program to the end. This could significantly increase their chance for long-term recovery.
Paying For Holistic Drug And Alcohol Addiction Treatment
While searching for an alternative program, many people may wonder if holistic drug rehab programs are covered by insurance.
Though a large number of insurance plans offer sizable benefits for drug and alcohol addiction treatment, not every holistic program may be covered. Programs that use only holistic treatments may be denied coverage in certain circumstances.
Before committing to a program, it can be helpful to contact the treatment center or insurance company directly. Our highly-trained addiction specialists can also help you with this process.
If a person doesn’t have insurance or still needs help paying for holistic treatment, some facilities may have other forms of assistance available. This could include financing options, scholarships or grants, or income-based sliding-fee scales.
In some cases, certain holistic treatments, such as massage or acupuncture, may not be included in the cost of treatment. If a person wishes to take advantage of these or other therapies, they may have to pay an additional fee per session. Checking with a center beforehand can help a person to determine if there are any hidden fees attached to these or other services.
Finding A Holistic Drug And Alcohol Rehab Center
The term holistic drug rehab may be used loosely at certain facilities. Some treatment centers use a very limited number of holistic treatments, if any, and use this term to describe their facility.
For this reason, as a person is choosing a holistic drug rehab center, it’s important that they fully understand what treatments the center offers prior to committing to the program. It can also be beneficial to see if the center is licensed and accredited and if their therapists are licensed and/or credentialed.
Whether a person prefers holistic only, or a combination of alternative and evidence-based treatments, researching beforehand helps to ensure that a person has an increased opportunity for a successful, long-term recovery.
Reach out to DrugRehab.org today for more information on holistic drug and alcohol rehab centers.Sources
Johns Hopkins Medicine - Types of Complementary and Alternative Medicine
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health - Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: What’s In a Name?
U.S. News & World Report - Why You Should Consider Holistic Addiction Treatment