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The Ultimate Guide To Holistic Drug Rehabilitation

Holistic drug rehabilitationAddiction is a complex condition that affects many people. In spite of knowing that drugs and alcohol are addictive, however, most people start experimenting with substance use due to curiosity or as a way to de-stress.

Irrespective of the circumstances that led you to abuse drugs and alcohol, the subsequent progress from use, abuse, tolerance, dependency, and eventual addiction tends to occur in pretty much the same way. This consumption continues escalating until the body is completely dependent on the substance of choice on a physical and physiological level. At this point, holistic drug rehabilitation might be the only way you can receive respite.

According to NIDA (the National Institute on Drug Abuse), addiction treatment can be defined as the combination of behavioral therapies and maintenance medications with a predominant focus on behavioral therapy.

The maintenance drugs used are quite effective because they may help you overcome your abuse of such substances as opioids. However, there are certain drugs - like marijuana and cocaine - that your body cannot taper off from using maintenance medication.

For most people, however, the primary route to treating addiction and dependence starts with detoxification followed by intensive holistic drug rehabilitation - with a special focus on behavioral therapy.

In the Principles of Effective Treatment, NIDA also states that there is no universal treatment appropriate for every addiction. As such, even though therapy might be vital to helping guide you towards a better understanding of your behavior, you may also benefit from alternative and complementary therapies alongside the prescription medication and behavioral therapy. This is how the holistic approach to alcohol and drug rehabilitation works.

Looking at the numbers further, NSDUH (the National Survey on Drug Use and Health) 2014 reports that more than 27 million individuals aged 12 and older abused illicit substances in the month before the survey was conducted - with marijuana and opioids driving these numbers up.

With so many struggling with alcohol and drug abuse, dependence, addiction, and other co-occurring addiction and mental disorders, it is now clear more than ever before that rehabilitation programs should offer a wide variety of options to help new patients overcome their substance use disorders and stay healthy.

That said, addiction happens to be all-consuming - a vapid condition that also tends to trigger profound transformation. If you are (or a loved one is) affected by it, the chances are quite high that the condition will strip you of your spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health.

In the same way, it may affect your loved ones, friends, and family to a great extent, as well as bring them heartache that could potentially compromise your relationships and the family unit.

Luckily, there are tons of resources available designed to provide respite to anyone suffering from addiction. Through these resources - one of which is holistic drug rehabilitation - you may be able to overcome your chemical dependence on drugs and alcohol.

These resources, in the same way, represent the entire spectrum of needs. As such, it might be difficult for you to choose one that would be the most efficient and effective for your particular needs and requirements.

Defining Holistic Drug Rehabilitaiton

NCCIH (the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health) reports that more than 1/3 of the entire adult population in the United States has used holistic medicine at one point or the other. This trend also seems to be expanding by the day.

Holistic medicine refers to the approach that practitioners take with the aim of treating the patient completely - in spirit, emotion, mind, and body.

Holistic medicine refers to the approach that practitioners take with the aim of treating the patient completely - in spirit, emotion, mind, and body. As such, it is designed to help the patient achieve proper optimal health because they receive the right kind of care for the particular condition they are suffering from.

In essence, the practitioners of holistic medicine opine that individuals are comprised of several parts - the physical body, the mind, and the soul. To this end, whenever one of these components is out of balance or unhealthy, it follows that the whole person may become ill in one way or the other.

To restore wellness and balance to the individual, therefore, it is imperative that the entire person receives treatment. It is for this reason that the proponents of the holistic approach to medicine tend to criticize Western medicine as being too focused on physical medicine and treatments - particularly on potent prescription drugs - while avoiding or ignoring the individual's mental health or emotional satisfaction.

That said, conventional medical treatment (such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or prescription medication) may be combined with non-Western or nontraditional approaches. When this happens, the entire group of treatments used and applied is generally referred to as complementary treatment.

On the other hand, alternative medicine refers to the use of non-mainstream practices and treatments instead of relying on conventional medical guidelines or practice. On the other hand, the incorporation of mainstream healthcare with non-traditional, holistic drug rehabilitation is referred to as integrative treatment.

To this end, it follows that any addiction and dependency rehabilitation program that also applies integrative or holistic treatment approaches to the traditional rehab regimen might be considered to comprise holistic drug rehabilitation.

To further understand the concept, it is essential that you remember that most holistic rehab programs take the integrated spiritual, mental, and physical model in the treatment of substance use disorders, addiction, and mental health issues.

These techniques might also be referred to as complementary or alternative treatments because they are usually based on practices which might be defined as being closer to nature or derived from more cultural traditions.

Examples of holistic drug rehabilitation, therefore, include but are not limited to:

  • Acupressure
  • Acupuncture
  • Biofeedback
  • Herbal medicines
  • Massage
  • Meditation
  • Neurofeedback
  • Nutritional therapy
  • Reiki, and other energy treatments
  • Yoga

These are a couple of the whole range of treatments that can be described as holistic. In general, the main similarity between all of them lies in the fact that they are intended to help treat the person as a whole and not just single elements of their behavior or symptoms.

In the same way, the effective treatment of addiction and substance use disorders ought to focus on addressing the individual in their entirety instead of working on some of the behavioral aspects of their condition. The goal, for instance, may be to address all the underlying reasons that lead you to engage in destructive and dangerous behavior.

Holistic addiction therapyIn recent years, these kinds of treatments have become popular. This might be because they involve an entirely different approach to the traditional clinical treatment and based on the fact that they offer unique recovery experiences.

In some instances, however, holistic drug rehabilitation might be used to augment traditional treatment therapies - including medical detoxification, behavioral therapies, and individual counseling.

While most diseases and disorders tend to be psychological or physical, addiction and substance use lies somewhere in between. This is because these conditions affect all aspects of the person, as well as their lives.

In this respect, addiction's encompassing nature - as well as its numerous and diverse effects - may complicate treatment. As such, there is no universal treatment that might be useful in dealing with the diverse effects and nature of addiction.

In the same way, there is not a single type of addiction treatment and rehabilitation program that might be able to effectively address all your specific needs. When you require treatment, therefore, you might have to choose the type of program that will best address your needs.

Holistic drug rehabilitation is among the different types of treatments available for dealing with substance use disorders. Although it might be a relatively recent development, it is nonetheless quite effective at helping addicts find their way to full recovery and sobriety.

As a direct result, homeopathic and holistic medicine have been gaining a large following both in the United States and beyond - particularly among those who prefer to take the natural approach to treatment and health, as well as those who appreciate the mind, body, and spirit outlook.

When holistic therapies are combined with more traditional clinical treatments as a whole to address your spiritual, psychological, and physical needs through a single program, you may be said to be undergoing holistic drug rehabilitation.

With most addiction recovery programs being comprised of different treatments that address the various effects of addiction, holistic drug rehabilitation may be integrated into any kind of addiction treatment program.

In most cases, the core of the treatment program may consist of psycho-education, skills building sessions, relapse prevention training, individual counseling, and different forms of group therapy.

These core treatments may also be included in a holistic rehab plan. Additional forms of treatment might include Neurofeedback, horticulture, Reiki, music and art therapy, acupuncture, animal therapies, yoga, exercise, and more.

When holistic therapies are combined with more traditional clinical treatments as a whole to address your spiritual, psychological, and physical needs through a single program, you may be said to be undergoing holistic drug rehabilitation.

The Benefits Of Holistic Treatment

Although some people dismiss the effectiveness of holistic drug rehabilitation, there are several significant benefits that come with enrolling into such a treatment program. Due to these benefits, such a program may be worthy of your consideration.

For instance, when you participate in holistic therapy and treatment, you may end up reporting that they have helped to improve your outlook on life and make it more positive. The program may additionally ensure that you are better able to generate and hone the feelings of pleasure, joy, and happiness, and positivity - feelings that you might previously only have derived from the use of the drugs/alcohol of your choice.

Other benefits arising from undergoing holistic drug rehabilitation may include:

a) Improved Emotional Intelligence

Those who undergo holistic therapy often find that the treatments are effective at helping them become better at understanding, internalizing, and processing difficult emotions - particularly anger and sadness. By so doing, the treatment ensures that the emotions do not linger for long periods - which, if it happens, might contribute to the poor decisions you may make.

b) Better Focus

In the same way, holistic treatments - such as acupuncture - are effective at helping patients remain focused on the goals they made for recovery. This ensures that their determination and decision to remain sober are reinforced.

c) Physical Health

There is evidence to show that acupuncture, in particular, may provide physical healing. Additionally, there have been instances where acupuncture has been found to trigger positive changes in protein that were previously damaged or dead.

Additionally, acupuncture and meditation have been found to help people sleep better - a common issue that those who are in the early stages of drug and alcohol rehabilitation and recovery need.

d) Mental Health

One of the benefits that you stand to gain by undergoing holistic drug rehabilitation lies in the fact that the professionals may help you identify all underlying emotional and mental factors that might have caused you to start abusing drugs and alcohol as well as overcome them.

Counseling, for instance, is believed to be the only way (or the best way) to identify these factors and overcome them. Many recovering addicts, however, have reported that they were able to overcome these psychological cues after undergoing holistic treatment.

In particular, there are several holistic drug rehabilitation programs and techniques that may help with any thought disruption you experience as a result of your addiction. By so doing, the treatments help you break the connection between the mind-altering substances you abuse and your emotional cues.

The Effectiveness Of Holistic Techniques

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health - which is managed through NIH (the National Institutes of Health) - now provides help to anyone in need of holistic health practitioners. This same body governs organizations that provide holistic drug rehabilitation, and gathers and reports statistics on the application of these treatments.

According to a 2008 study, about 4 in 10 adults (or around 38% of the entire adult population in the US) use complementary, alternative, and/or integrative medical treatment for a variety of conditions and ailments. In the same study, it was found that about 12% or 1 in every 9 children in the United States received care through one such holistic approach to medicine.

Holistic and complementary approaches to substance use disorders and addiction often include non-mineral, non-vitamin, and non-prescription supplements as well as body and mind improvement practices. These approaches may also include mediation and movement, relaxation techniques, and breathing practices in combination.

Holistic drug rehabilitation, in general, may include the following therapies:

  • Acupuncture
  • Ayurveda
  • Biofeedback
  • Chelation therapy
  • Chiropractic manipulation
  • Deep breathing
  • Dietary therapies, including vegetarian, Zone, Pritikin, and Atkins
  • Energy healing, that is sometimes referred to as Reiki
  • Guided imagery
  • Homeopathic treatment
  • Hypnosis
  • Massage
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Movement therapies, such as Tager psychological integration, Pilates, and Feldenkrais
  • Natural products, such as herbal supplements
  • Naturopathy
  • Osteopathic manipulation
  • Progressive relaxation
  • Qigong
  • Tai chi
  • Traditional Healers, such as Shamanic, Espiritista, and Botanica traditions
  • Yoga

Among these treatments, natural products happen to be the most common form of holistic rehabilitation used - with over 18% of the study participants reporting that they use non-mineral supplements and herbs to treat their ailments.

In the same study, around 13% reported using deep breathing, 8.6% saw chiropractors, 6.1% used yoga, 8.3% received massage therapy, and 9.4% used meditation for holistic health purposes.

In another survey of addiction rehabilitation facilities published in Pastoral Psychology, it was revealed that a 3rd of the centers used one form of holistic drug and alcohol rehabilitation or the other. More specifically, around 58% of all the facilities used meditation as an active part of the treatment plans for its patients. As you can probably discern, most of these modalities are used in conjunction with other treatments or to complement other interventions.

Irrespective of the area or method of application, holistic drug rehabilitation is aimed at dealing with several factors that these programs consider to contribute to substance use disorders and addiction.

These factors include but are not limited to:

  • A lack of a firm spiritual foundation that might make users desire the bliss of drugs and alcohol
  • Emotional imbalance, which often leads to substance use and abuse
  • Environmental contaminants and toxins that may cause you to desire addictive substances
  • The physical symptoms of drug and alcohol withdrawal and addiction
  • Unhealthy eating habits, which often result in neurochemical imbalance

In some cases, the therapies used in holistic drug rehabilitation may include reviewing energetic imbalance, which might be treatment through such body and energy manipulation techniques like Reiki.

Some centers, however, use these treatments alongside other more conventional therapies. Among these are those that claim that holistic treatment is the best way to deal with addiction and lead to lasting sobriety and recovery. However, this works better when used together with evidence-based treatments.

As mentioned above, there are different kinds of complementary holistic interventions that can be combined with prescription medication and behavioral therapy in the addiction rehabilitation process.

However, few programs will use all the treatments. Rather, most will focus on helping the addict improve their mental and physical health while also encouraging them to take fewer of the substances they are addicted to.

Some users, on the other hand, choose rehabilitation programs based on their favourite type of holistic approach to drug and alcohol abuse treatment. However, if you do not know much about the options available, you may first want to find out just how effective they are in the treatment of the various types of addiction. Consider the following:

1. Smoking

Evidence abounds about how holistic drug rehabilitation works to help smokers quit. Among different studies, it has been discovered that mind and body practices are quite effective for people are trying to end their addiction to nicotine.

More particularly, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, yoga, and mindfulness meditation - among other relaxation techniques - just might be the most effective route to quitting your nicotine dependence.

However, there is no evidence that you might quit tobacco long term if you use acupuncture as your holistic drug rehabilitation option of choice. Still, this type of intervention comes with some success in the short term. Similarly, dietary supplements might not be quite as effective.

2. Meditation, Prayer, and Other Holistic Treatments

According to a 2009 study published by Pastoral Psychology, there is evidence of the success of meditation and prayer in drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs and processes.

The study included 12 step programs within the prayer category after it found that 91% of all addiction rehabilitation programs endorse prayer as an effective form of therapy for people looking to overcome their substance use disorders.

Another 58% of the studied programs were found to use meditation as an active part of their addiction treatment process while 33% used self-designed holistic techniques that included movement, meditation, and nutritional programs.

However, the study did not show any results about the effectiveness of these options although it proves that the demand for complementary treatments was quite high among alcohol and drug treatment programs.

3. Yoga

The concept behind the modern practice of yoga - particularly with reference to the therapeutic scenario - is that that gentle exercise often aids in the strengthening of the body. This type of exercise also helps to focus the mind on how the body moves. In the process, yoga calms the individual through its deep-seated meditative motions.

For instance, Yoga Journal has reported several findings about the use of the practice in addiction treatment. In a 2007 pilot study, for instance, the journal reported that yoga is effective at increasing the amount of GABA neurotransmitters produced by the brain - which involve a section of the brain that is specifically targeted by alcohol and benzodiazepines.

Yoga increases these GABA neurotransmitters and, in the process, helps in the reduction of insomnia, anxiety, and some of the symptoms of depression - conditions that are common effects of drug and alcohol abuse and dependence.

A different study examined the rates of relapse among incarcerated populations receiving treatment for cocaine addiction or alcohol use disorder found that yoga is particularly effective at reducing the rates of relapse.

The inmates who were struggling with alcohol addiction consumed about 8 drinks a week after taking Vipassana yoga classes while those attending traditional 12 step rehabilitation programs consumed 27 drinks of alcohol a week.

Those who were struggling with crack cocaine addiction were required to participate in yoga based mediation classes and ended up abusing the drug on an average of once in every 10 days while those who were not involved in the classes ended up abusing the drug on an average of once in every 5 days.

4. Mindfulness

A 2009 survey conducted on a number of mindfulness meditation interventions for addiction found that most of the surveys ended up reporting moderate positive improvements among the participants.

In one study, the severity of cravings decreased while the others discovered that when patients participated in mindfulness meditation, their relapse rates improved significantly. This was particularly among those suffering from co-occurring depression, cravings, stress, and anxiety.

The findings from these studies also showed that mindfulness is effective at alleviating most of the symptoms commonly associated with these types of conditions, and in the process improving long term outcomes. By reducing these symptoms, the holistic drug rehabilitation simultaneously reduced relapse rates among those who were recovering from substance use disorders and addiction.

5. Nutritional Counseling

Nutritional counseling mostly includes the use of dietary supplements. However, many drug rehabilitation programs have now acknowledged the fact that substance abuse causes severe harm to the body. For many addicts, however, a diet high in vital nutrients was found to be effective at generating good feelings while simultaneously reducing cravings.

In particular, it is highly likely that nutritional counseling can address long term health concerns and immediate withdrawal symptoms through cooking classes, high quality foods, and specific dietary requirements.

For instance, individuals withdrawing from their addiction to opioids might experience diarrhea and abdominal cramps. When these addicts consume more fiber, their body will be regulated in the short term. Similarly, helping such people plan balanced means might take the stress out when their access to healthier foods is somewhat limited.

Alcohol abuse, on other hand, has been found to reduce the amount of B12 or thiamine that your body absorbs. Therefore, the holistic drug rehabilitation you undertake might require that you adjust your diet to include more foods with this essential vitamin - an essential part of both long and short term recovery.

How Holistic Treatments Help With Addiction

Although the clinical treatments offered by most drug and alcohol addiction recovery programs may be quite effective, they might not be quite as effective at addressing certain things.

Holism, or holistic drug rehabilitation, on the other hand, works on the wellness and health of the spirit, mind, and body. By incorporating more of these techniques into a treatment plan, therefore, rehab facilities can easily address most of the common underlying causes of drug addiction and alcoholism. These causes may include the lack of feeling and fulfillment as though your life no longer has meaning.

Addiction meditationA staple in most holistic addiction programs is meditation. It works by helping the recovering addict become more in tune with their feelings and thoughts. In the process, it provides them with more control over how they respond emotionally.

The deep clarity, focus, and relaxation you will achieve through meditation, for instance, may reinforce most of the clinical addiction treatments you are already undergoing. This is because they often tend to address the same or similar issues albeit from a completely different perspective.

Among the common characteristics that mark out addicts are low self-image, self-esteem, and a general lack of self confidence. In many cases, it is these characteristics that eventually lead to substance use and worsening drug and alcohol taking.

Holistic therapies, however, work to help addicts become more confident and comfortable in their own skin. This has been shown to be quite effective at helping with regards to cravings and urges.

More specifically, when an addict no longer feels so bad about themselves, they would be less inclined to reach out to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with their low opinions.

That said, holistic drug rehabilitation is designed to address such shortcomings by taking the multidimensional approach that comes with several services and therapies. Consider the following:

  1. Emotional Health

    This may include the ability to effectively cope with daily sources of stress, as well as the state of one's mental health, and other symptoms.

  2. Environmental Status

    This includes stability, safety, home, and surrounding neighborhood.

  3. Finances

    Finances encompass debt, expenses, income, and general satisfaction with your current financial status.

  4. Intellectual Abilities

    Such as the ability to take opportunities to be creative, expand skills, and acquire knowledge.

  5. Occupation

    This involves your satisfaction and fulfillment from your work.

  6. Physical Health

    This encompasses medical health diagnoses, sleeping habits, exercise, and diet.

  7. Social Life

    Social life covers the level and depth of human connection with those you interact with, the sense of belonging that you feel, and the presence of a solid and dependable support system around you.

  8. Spiritual Life

    Spiritual life involves discovering a deeper sense of purpose and meaning in your life.

To this end, holistic drug rehabilitation is designed to evaluate each of these categories and work to improve them with a view to boost your general health and wellness. This means that the treatments may often be based on the premise that all the categories of wellness described above influence each other.

This means that irrespective of the strength of your physical health, your overall wellness may be limited especially if your emotional health is not completely at par with what it should be. As a direct result, holistic treatment will try to ensure that all parts and pieces that comprise the person you are ought to work hand in hand and in harmony with each other to maintain long term recovery and achieve wellness.

Over and above everything else, holistic drug rehabilitation services provide an ideal opportunity for addicts looking to improve their satisfaction with life, overall wellbeing, and opportunities for a lifestyle free of drugs, alcohol, and other addictive substances.


Over and above everything else, holistic drug rehabilitation services provide an ideal opportunity for addicts looking to improve their satisfaction with life, overall wellbeing, and opportunities for a lifestyle free of drugs, alcohol, and other addictive substances.

Once you make a conscious effort to fight your drug and alcohol use, abuse, tolerance, dependency, and addiction, you might find yourself considering holistic drug rehabilitation. This is now considered to be one of the front runners in the treatment of substance use disorders.

Although it might take some time for you to completely understand all the different treatment options open to you, you should still remember that holistic drug rehabilitation is now ranked among the leading types of interventions available on the marketplace today. The sooner you find the right intervention, therefore, the easier it might be for you to quit drug and alcohol in favor of a more meaningful, productive lifestyle.

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