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When people are researching treatment options for loved ones with substance abuse issues, they commonly browse what’s available online. Addiction is a serious illness that affects millions of people around the world and consequently, the internet is flooded with advertisements for residential and outpatient rehab. One of the most recognized options for addiction support is 12 step which is an older model for recovery from alcohol or drug abuse. However, this approach is not for everyone making it important to research non 12 step recovery programs before committing to a particular treatment program.

Today, there is much more information online on the subject of addiction than ever before and articles such as this can be invaluable in providing people with answers to questions they have when considering rehab. There are now numerous alternatives to 12 step including the holistic approach, which has been shown to be highly effective for substance abuse rehabilitation when used in combination with medical treatments.

How Is Non 12 Step Drug Rehab Different from 12 Step?

More people than ever before are turning to non 12 step recovery programs for rehabilitation from substance abuse. The aim of holistic medicine is to identify and address the underlying issues a person has that drives their compulsion to abuse drugs or alcohol. Non 12 step rehab differs from conventional medicine which focuses on treating the symptoms of addiction.

The most significant difference between a holistic recovery center and 12 step is that it is not linked to any specific belief system. Non 12 step recovery programs rehab centers have the view that individuals are not defined by their addiction and that they are capable of regaining balance in their lives through natural remedies, therapies, and treatment. Ultimately, holistic rehab seeks to take into account an individual’s past, present and where they want to be in the future in order to formulate a personalized treatment plan that optimizes outcomes.

Non 12 step drug rehab recognizes every patient as an individual with their own treatment needs. For example, if someone has been dealing with chronic pain and consequently abused prescription opioids a combination of treatments such as massage therapy, CBT and specialized counseling are prescribed. Conversely, the 12 step recovery approach is exactly as it says; with 12 very precise steps, a person has to complete in order to achieve recovery, which many people feel does not allow for different personality types.

What Holistic Treatments Are Used in Non 12 Step Rehab?

Most people are familiar with practices used in holistic recovery centers such as yoga or meditation but know less about how they work in a rehab context. Here we take a look at some of the therapies offered at Elevate and illustrate how they are effective in supporting rehab patients on their journey to recovery:

Breathing Exercises, Yoga, and Meditation

Collectively known as mindfulness practices, these practices are based on scientific research that shows people present a variety of breathing patterns depending on how they feel. Breathing techniques can be introduced to patients that serve as effective coping mechanisms they can use throughout their lives. Having the ability to alter breathing patterns empowers rehab patients to boost energy levels, improve focus and reduce stress, which protects them from relapse in recovery.

Meditation works really well for people unfamiliar with the practice when it is in a group setting. This means participants can be guided to focus on their breathing and silence any negative internal dialogue. When individuals become familiar with meditation, they are able to achieve the ultimate relaxed state on their own, arming them with a powerful tool for sustained sobriety.

Nutritional Awareness Education

When someone has been abusing substances for a period of time, they are very likely to have neglected their diet and may be suffering from nutritional deficiencies as a result. Poor nutrition can result in unbalanced blood sugar levels, mood swings, severe cravings and digestive issues although it is very possible to reverse the damage.

Although good nutrition is a vital element for all of us, not all rehab clinics offer nutritional education. Elevate places a priority on healing the body by addressing deficiencies which can be achieved by making changes to an individual’s diet and prescribing natural supplements. Vitamins and minerals in the body affect everything from our eyesight to fingernail growth to bone strength and so it is vital to a person’s wellbeing to be nutritionally aware.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is particularly useful in treating people with prescription drug dependence or addiction. This is because therapeutic touch has been shown to reduce the symptoms of chronic pain and also serves to improve circulation and reduce stress.

Massage is also exceptionally useful in detox as it alleviates many of the unpleasant physical withdrawal symptoms patients experience. Elevate believes that massage has the power to make a significant difference to a person’s well-being over time and many patients include therapy sessions in their recovery program for many years after leaving rehab.


Aromatherapy is perhaps less well-known than other holistic treatments although its origins are in ancient times. This therapy uses essential oils which are used to fill rooms with vapor, each with their own specific benefit. The blends of aromas used are designed to improve mental, physical and psychological function and also promote healthier sleep patterns for better wellbeing.

At Elevate, we have found that aromatherapy is particularly useful in helping with the following:

  • Achieving a physically, mentally and emotionally relaxed state
  • Improving mental clarity and focus
  • Alleviating distressing withdrawal symptoms

Finding the Best Kind of Addiction Treatment

Elevate believes that everyone has their own particular needs, wishes, and desires which should be taken into account when formulating a treatment program for substance abuse. Whereas 12 step depends on its rigid structure for success, holistic therapies are completely flexible because they are designed with individuals in mind.

Everyone has their own challenges to face on their journey to recovery from substance abuse. Non 12 step drug rehab provides patients with an array of different components from which they can choose what works best. One of the best takeaways of all holistic therapies is that skills and practices are learned that support recovering addicts in sobriety for many years after leaving rehab.

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