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Alternative Treatment
drum therapy at some of th best drug treatment centers

Alternative Treatment

When used in conjunction with traditional addiction treatments, alternative treatment plans can improve the person’s recovery success rate. The right combination of alternative treatment options can help to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety, as well as boost self-esteem and feelings of self-worth, all of which can be critical elements in the recovery process.

What is Alternative Treatment?

Alternative treatments often include non-traditional therapies designed to treat the entire person, rather than trying to treat only the symptoms of the addiction. This type of approach is also known as holistic therapy.

The objective of holistic therapy is to treat, correct, or manage some of the underlying triggers for addictive behavior. Long-term drug abuse can have detrimental effects on the body and the brain.

How is Alternative Treatment Beneficial for Addiction Recovery?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse advocates using the right combination of rehab therapies and alternative treatments to suit each individual’s recovery needs (1).

Traditional rehab treatments, such as individual counseling and behavioral therapy, help to address the symptoms of addiction. Incorporating a combination of holistic therapies can assist a recovering person in all aspects of living a life of sobriety.

Alternative therapies can provide effective ways to manage stress, elevate mood, and promote relaxation. Some therapies are also designed to manage and reduce drug cravings during the recovery process, which can help with maintaining long-term sobriety.

Alternative Addiction Therapy Options

There are many different types of alternative addiction therapy options available in Alabama. Some include:

Creative Therapies: many people respond particularly well to combining creative therapies with traditional addiction treatments. Creative therapies offer an alternative outlet for pent-up emotions and feelings that some people feel they cannot express any other way. Examples of positive creative therapies include art, painting, drawing, sculpting, writing, poetry, drama, music and dance.

Restorative Yoga: restorative yoga combines physical postures and stretches with breathing control exercises and meditation to help balance the body, mind, and spirit. Studies indicate that yoga is excellent for relieving symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression, all of which are common in people recovering from addiction.

Equine Therapy: working with horses instills feelings of relaxation in people, which makes it the ideal alternative therapy for treating addiction. Many people find that working with horses gives them a sense of purpose, but it also improves confidence levels. There is also a feeling of responsibility when caring for another living being, which helps a recovering person gain a much-needed perspective into their own lives.  Evidence also suggests that spending time with horses can reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, raise self-esteem and relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Meditation: mindfulness meditation helps to reduce stress by lowering levels of the cortisol hormone in the body. Meditation can be especially useful for reinforcing relapse prevention techniques and reducing cravings throughout the recovery process.

Acupuncture: traditional acupuncture is an excellent alternative therapy for dealing with pain, but it is also beneficial for relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Exercise: even small amounts of daily exercise is incredibly beneficial during addiction recovery. Exercise encourages the body to release endorphins, which naturally elevates mood and reduce stress. Exercise also helps to tone the body, which can improve self-esteem.

Diet and Nutrition: it is common for many long-term drug abusers to be malnourished, or to struggle with significant nutrient deficiencies. Learning the importance of a healthy diet and good nutrition plays a substantial role in boosting the immune system, as well as helps to restore any biochemical imbalances that may remain in a recovering person’s body.

Vocational and Job Skills Training: many people struggling with drug or alcohol abuse also have difficulty maintaining steady employment. Research shows that learning new occupational skills can improve self-esteem and provide an important level of self-worth that may have been lacking during the period of drug abuse.

The right combination of alternative addiction therapies will depend heavily on each individual person’s characteristics. Some people respond better to different therapies than others, therefore it is important to participate in a variety of options throughout addiction treatment to determine what works best for a person’s own personal path to addiction recovery.

If you or a loved one is battling a drug or alcohol addiction, call a substance abuse facility in Alabama today to learn about the alternative therapy options available for treatment.