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The Benefits of a Holistic Approach to Addiction Treatment

Considering an estimated 21 million people are struggling with drugs, alcohol, or both, it is not unreasonable to say the U.S. has a chronic and pervasive substance abuse problem. In addition to upending the lives of individual users, substance abuse affects entire communities. That means people who have never consumed drugs or had a problem with alcohol are affected by substance abuse. To put this into context, it helps to look at a study published by the National Institutes of Health. According to researchers, substance abuse ruins communities by contributing to the following:

  • Child abuse and child neglect
  • Higher crime rates
  • Increased hospitalizations
  • The depletion of public funds
  • Traffic accidents and fatalities related to DUIs and DWIs

Communities that are home to a substance abuse problem also struggle with vagrancy, not to mention higher rates of HIV, AIDS, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, according to a separate study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Studies Show More People Are Choosing to End Their Relationship With Drugs and Alcohol

While the effects of substance abuse on communities are disconcerting, they are worse for individual users since they’re personally at risk of contracting HIV, becoming homeless, and potentially dying from an overdose. Mindful of these potentially devastating consequences, many people are turning to licensed rehab facilities to get the help they need to break the cycle of addiction. While traditional rehab facilities are the go-to for most, many are turning to holistic ones.

Holistic Recovery Programs and Why They Are the Better Choice for Some People Trying To Overcome Addiction

While traditional recovery methods are a good fit for most people trying to overcome addiction, such an approach does not work for everyone. For those individuals, holistic addiction recovery might be a better fit, and this is because holistic treatments for addiction are about treating the whole person, not just their physical and psychological dependence on drugs or alcohol.

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What Is Holistic Treatment?

Holistic addiction recovery might sound a bit new age, but it works for those who need or desire a comprehensive approach to addiction recovery. Holistic recovery rehab facilities take into account the impact addiction has had on an individual’s mind, body, soul, and spirit. And they use that information to outline a unique addiction recovery treatment plan that addresses those specific areas.

The Holistic Approach to Addiction vs. The Traditional Approach

Holistic recovery is not the abandonment of traditional addiction recovery methods. Instead, it is about marrying the two treatment protocols to give individuals the best chance of achieving short and, eventually, long-term sobriety. For example, it is not uncommon for individuals to receive the following traditional addiction recovery treatments alongside some that are more holistic based:

  • Medication-assisted detox
  • One-on-one and group mental health counseling
  • Referrals to Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and other support groups

As far as holistic-based treatments for addiction recovery, holistic rehab facilities offer a mix of traditional, experiential, and alternative therapies to individuals in their care, some of which include the following:

  • Acupuncture
  • Aromatherapy
  • Art therapy
  • Exercise classes
  • Guided meditation
  • Massage therapy
  • Nutritional therapies
  • Spiritual therapy
  • Yoga

The Physical Benefits of the Holistic Approach for Overcoming Addiction

Like traditional addiction recovery, individuals who go through a holistic addiction recovery program can find themselves on the receiving end of numerous physical benefits. Medication-assisted detox, along with eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, which many holistic rehab facilities offer, can provide considerable relief from the following detox-related withdrawal symptoms:

  • Confusion
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Profuse sweating
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
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Along with relief from physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms, the holistic approach to addiction recovery contributes to better overall health. And this is because the combination of holistic and traditional treatments can normalize an individual’s low hormone and blood sugar levels, both of which are a byproduct of substance abuse. They also help with vitamin deficiencies and low energy.

The Spiritual Benefits of the Holistic Approach for Overcoming Addiction

Studies show that yoga, meditation, art therapy, and other treatment modalities offered in holistic recovery programs contribute to spiritual growth. And this makes sense as these various activities help individuals cope with stress and establish a deeper, more meaningful connection with themselves. They also help them find meaning and purpose in their lives. From a psychological standpoint, these same activities, especially when combined with traditional counseling with a licensed therapist, can help individuals overcome depression, anxiety, and other psychological aspects of addiction recovery.

In summary, holistic addiction recovery can be a good choice for anyone who wants to improve their chances of achieving long-term sobriety, which studies show is more likely with holistic rehab facilities than traditional ones. They are also ideal for those who want a custom addiction recovery program rather than the cookie-cutter ones offered at non-holistic rehab facilities. To learn more about the holistic approach or for help in deciding whether or not it’s right for you, consider speaking with one of our Mind Body Wellness associates today.