alternative addiction treatment

Almost 200 Americans die each day due to opioid overdose so it’s right to call it an epidemic. However, most people don’t really recognize the danger that’s staring them right in the face. This is true even if they will likely know somebody who suffers from substance abuse disorder.

According to the survey from the American Psychiatric Association, one-third of Americans know somebody who is addicted to opioids. Millennials, too, believe that it’s easy to obtain illicit drugs. Between 2010 and 2016, the number of overdose deaths from opioids doubled from 21,000 to 42,000.

The worrying fact is that not enough is getting treatment. For instance, of the estimated 22.5 million individuals who have a substance abuse problem, only about 10% undergo rehab treatment.

Common Types of Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Addiction is a very complicated disease. As such, there’s no single treatment that can magically make somebody sober for the rest of their lives.

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This is why rehab facilities offer an extensive array of treatment methods to cure somebody. Some patients may not respond to traditional methods, for instance. Some rehab centers offer holistic and alternative methods—such as yoga, acupuncture, massage, art therapy, among others—in the hopes of motivating the patient into getting better.

What are the common types of alternative treatments available to addicted patients?

  1. Cognitive behavioral therapy – This is the most common form of therapy whose aim is to identify the trigger that pushed the person to addiction.
  2. Detox – Detox is often necessary to rid the system of all the foreign substances accumulated in the body and the brain, which alters behavior and perception.
  3. Motivational interviewing – In this form of treatment, the patient is taught how to motivate themselves, without external stimuli, in order to change their own behavior.
  4. Family therapy – Addiction doesn’t just affect the patients but also their loved ones. The therapy will try to resolve all their issues as the first step toward healing.
  5. Inpatient and outpatient rehab – Residential rehab will typically last from 30 days up to 90 days. Outpatient rehab is less disruptive as the patient can go on with his work and go home to his family as long as he follows the treatment schedule.
  6. Other popular alternative treatments that can be used include the practice of yoga and meditation, hypnosis, breathwork therapy, psychoanalysis, group therapy, art therapy, and guided image therapy.

8 Dimensions of Healing

Experts, however, agree that sobriety follows a pattern. They can predict success by tracking if the person in recovery manages to complete the main dimensions of wellness.

Here are the eight dimensions of healing, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:

  1. Financial – There’s a saying that money is the root of all evil. But it’s also the root of all stress. When the person has financial security, he’s less likely to be stressed. As such, he doesn’t need drugs or alcohol to cope.
  2. Physical – Drug and alcohol addiction will take a toll on your health. This is why treatment facilities include exercises as a major part of rehab. You need to take care of your health when you complete the treatment.
  3. Emotional – While under the influence of the substance, the emotions can go haywire. You need to rein in your destructive emotions, not become a robot mind you, but rather focus more on the positive ones.
  4. Occupational – When you feel satisfaction in your work and your colleagues, you won’t try to find alcohol and drugs to fill the emptiness inside. This is important since on average, Americans spend about 40 hours per week at the office.
  5. Intellectual – You can try out activities that will trigger your inner creativity. Learn the guitar or piano. Attend a painting class, if that’s what you want. Rekindle your love for an old hobby that you might have forgotten because life happened.
  6. Social – Being able to build and maintain relationships is crucial for your well-being. A good support system will also ensure you don’t go back to your old habits.
  7. Environmental – Your environment can influence your actions. You need to cut ties with previous relationships that contributed to your addiction. If needed, you should move residency so you don’t get sucked back in.
  8. Spiritual – It doesn’t have to be a religion. But it’s connecting to a higher power to find your inner purpose. There’s nothing more depressing than not knowing the meaning in your life. Again, you don’t have to drop everything to become a monk. Be realistic with your purpose and that means being grounded with your expectations.

Those are the eight dimensions of wellness, which are good predictors of a rehab success. Understandably, taking that first step toward treatment can be quite difficult, especially if you don’t know where you start.

If you’re looking for help, check out addiction resources in Texas that will point you in the right direction. The first step is to admit you have a problem. The rest of the journey becomes easier from then on.


Sharon Torres is a freelance writer who is chronically her perspective through this thing called life. 

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

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