Drug abuse is far more common than many Americans realize. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 20% of citizens between the ages of 18 to 20 have used an illegal drug in just the past month.
Even more worrisome, a large number of individuals abusing drugs are also in an addictive relationship with their substance of choice. The issue has progressed to the point where the help of an addiction treatment or a behavioral health treatment facility is necessary to address the problem.
That being said, there are many questions that need to be answered before a family affected by an addiction selects a treatment service. Many of those questions may revolve around the effectiveness of holistic addiction treatment.
Holistic addiction treatment covers a wide range of services and treatment strategies, but ultimately they are complementary treatment methods deployed by health professionals in conjunction with traditional medical treatment for addiction.
Have more questions about holistic addiction treatment? This FAQ will speak to all your major concerns about this unique approach to treating addiction.
1. What Does Holistic Addiction Treatment Mean?
The easiest way to understand the main goal of holistic addiction treatment is to think about how different each of your family members is from one another. You speak and relate to each different according to their needs and tendencies.
Holistic medicine applies the same principle to health care. Each person’s health needs are different, and holistic treatments look to use a wide spectrum of treatments to create a uniquely personal health care plan for patients.
For holistic health care treatment to be effective, these types of care plans are best performed by an experienced medical professional who uses these supplementary techniques to support traditional treatments.
According to the American Holistic Health Association, the major principles of holistic addiction treatment include:
- Educating patients on the value of lifestyle changes for better health. In the case of patients dealing with chronic drug-abuse and addictive behaviors, these skills are especially helpful for long-term successful recovery.
- Focus on treating patients from the perspective of recognizing the interplay between physical, mental, nutritional, and spiritual health
- Preference for a lifestyle change and holistic treatment strategies over unnecessary use of medication to treat symptoms and not root causes
- Willingness to employ a diverse range of treatment methods in accordance with the patient’s unique health treatment journey. This also covers unconventional addiction treatments designed to simultaneously treat multiple mental health care issues.
2. What Types of Mental Health Problems Are Treated With Holistic Treatments?
Holistic addiction treatments offer unique advantages when it comes to helping patients move beyond their substance abuse problems and live happy, sober lives. When deployed by an experienced health care professional, these supplementary treatments allow patients to get to the heart of their issues more rapidly than standard treatment methods.
Additional unique benefits include:
- A calming space for patients to explore the source of their desire to abuse drugs
- Strong physical fitness programs that promote healing and self-control
- Artistic and performance-based therapies that boost self-confidence
- Learning long-term sobriety strategies that help to limit the chances of relapse
- Personalized treatment plans that reflect a patient’s one-of-a-kind health care challenges
3. How Does Holistic Addiction Treatment Support Dual Diagnosis Treatment?
When patients are troubled with both a substance abuse disorder along with another mental health issue or prescription drug dependence, this combination of health problems is referred to as a dual diagnosis. Dealing with this complex collection of mental health symptoms requires treatment that is flexible and personalized.
The use of art therapy, for example, could play a role in helping a mental health professional identify the link between a patient’s chronic depression and their abuse of opioid drugs.
Ultimately, a discussion with a medical professional will determine which combination of holistic treatments will be the most effective response to a patient’s dual diagnosis.
4. What Should Families Look For In Treatment Programs Offering Holistic Treatment?
Not all facilities that advertise holistic treatment services offer the same services. Some even incorrectly brand holistic treatments as replacements for traditional medical treatments or fail to keep certified medical professionals on staff.
This reality emphasizes the importance of families knowing what to look for in a holistic addiction treatment facility. Add these must-have features to your family’s checklist:
- An experienced staff employing certified doctors and mental health professionals
- Treatment strategies driven by verified research
- Clean, spacious facilities and sleeping quarters
- An experienced and friendly financing team
5. What Are Common Examples of Holistic Addiction Treatment Services?
Most families are curious about specific examples of holistic addiction treatment services after hearing about the potential benefits. The list of potential treatments is long, but the following are a few of the most commonly used supplementary addiction treatment therapies used in qualified facilities:
Massage therapy has become a more and more popular holistic addiction treatment in the past few years. Patients who have a dedicated time to quiet their minds and improve their focus find themselves better able to manage physical symptoms like cravings. Massage therapy allows patients to enjoy a safe space to work through difficult thoughts or relax deeply before or after dealing with stressful or triggering events.
The following advantages of therapeutic massages are also key reasons the therapy has become deployed increasingly often:
- Stress reduction
- Improved mood
- Opportunity for reflection
- Relief from physical pain
Exercise is an important component of many addiction therapy programs. Building physical resilience and improving fitness are ways to redirect energy from cravings. Likewise, staying fit helps maintain a regular sleep schedule and consistent appetite, which are also helpful factors for minimizing addiction triggers during recovery.
Yoga-based therapy provides a skill set for patients to make their bodies stronger while managing their anxiety. As a supplementary therapy, yoga can offer a number of therapeutic benefits such as:
- Weight loss
- Greater flexibility
- Joint pain reduction
- Improved confidence
Creativity and expression can have a positive impact on addiction recovery. That’s why it’s not uncommon for addiction treatment facilities to offer music or dramatic performance therapy activities to patients.
Creative interpretation is another way for patients to work through and articulate difficult feelings. These activities can also contribute to improving social and communication skills in a group therapy environment. Other advantages of performance therapy as a supplementary addiction treatment include:
- Improved memory
- Recovered communication skills
- Lessened anxiety
- Potential for psychological insights
Other Common Addiction Treatment Services
Among the greatest advantages for treatment programs incorporating supplementary treatments is that they are varied and effective for treating a wide spectrum of personalities. The types of treatment programs vary greatly between facilities, however. Here’s a list of common holistic addiction treatment therapies not mentioned above:
- Equine therapy
- Nutritional therapy
- Art therapy
- Tai chi
- Spiritual therapy
- Personal counseling
- Recreational therapy
6. How Can Addiction Treatment Facilities Assist My Loved One?
The right addiction treatment center will make it a priority to identify care plans that directly reflect the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of the patient. Facilities that offer holistic approaches to treatment are the best equipped to meet this standard.
For example, Defining Wellness Center is a state-of-the-art treatment center located in Mississippi that offers patients a complete continuum of addiction recovery services. The center specializes in pairing relevant holistic therapies with traditional addiction treatment to create personalized treatment plans for patients.