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The 12-Step approach to addiction recovery is perhaps the most well-known approach in the world. Indeed, certain phrases used commonly in 12 step group meetings are now officially part of our everyday language, such as:

  • One day at a time
  • Time takes time
  • This too shall pass
  • Learn to listen and listen to learn

Although the 12 step program is known to have a strong religious foundation, there are still elements of the approach that can be applied to all aspects of modern day life. That said, 12 step is undeniably for those individuals struggling with addiction who have or are willing to develop faith in a being, object or deity or power greater than themselves. This religious aspect of 12 step can alienate people with addiction who may have quite different personal beliefs, which is why these folks should consider non 12 step recovery programs.

Another alienating factor of 12 step can be the belief that addictive behaviors can be eliminated by self-control, prayer and a strong faith in a “higher power.” 12 step members are required to submit themselves to the higher power of their choosing in order to rid themselves of addictive behaviors.

Holistic recovery centers like Elevate, we take a very different view. We believe that a person is not defined by their addiction and that they can overcome the illness by tapping into the body’s natural healing resources. Holistic therapies are intended to address the individual’s needs rather than the symptoms of their illness. Essentially, where 12 step places onus on a person’s faith to find recovery, holistic non 12 step recovery programs help them find healing from within.

How Does the Holistic Approach Differ to 12 Step Rehab?

To attend holistic non-12 step rehab, individuals do not need to meet any particular criteria aside from them needing help with substance abuse. There is no judgment of a person’s lifestyle or any behaviors they have exhibited while struggling with addiction illness and there is also no need to apologize.

Non 12 step recovery programs make substance use disorder less of a personal issue than the traditional Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). There is no need to compile an inventory of personal character flaws or the people wronged by bad behavior and definitely no requirement to address each and every individual on the list and apologize to them one-by-one. The other significant difference between holistic non-12 step rehab and the traditional approach is that patients leaving rehab do not have to dedicate their lives to saving others from addiction or becoming a sponsor to another 12 step member.

Traditional 12 step requires a lifelong commitment to its principles and beliefs. The non 12 step holistic approach simply focuses on improving people’s mental, physical and emotional wellbeing so that they can lead more enriching lives in recovery.

Accountability in Recovery: The Common Denominator

Although there is no accountability for past actions expected in non-12 step drug rehab, patients are taught how to become responsible for their actions in the future as part of rehab. This is mainly because people become extremely obsessed when struggling with addiction illness, as it’s characterized by an overwhelming preoccupation to obtain and use substances. Learning to recognize how addictive behaviors affect others is an important part of embracing changes to ensure people are not adversely affected in the first place.

Taking ownership of one’s own addiction is important in making strides in recovery and holistic non-12 step drug rehab helps people achieve this by empowering them to become more self-aware. Holistic rehab recognizes that thought processes drive our actions and they can be controlled by the power of our own mind. Ancient practices such as meditation and mindfulness are extremely useful in allowing people to tap into their psyche, release negative energy and find a more centered sense of wellbeing. The holistic approach to non-12 step drug rehab is a welcome relief for many patients as it addresses all their mental, physical and emotional health issues at the same time.

The Holistic Techniques used in Non-12 Step Rehab

Some of the treatments and therapies offered at Elevate’s holistic recovery centers include the following:

  • Meditation: Individuals overcoming substance abuse have most likely lost a sense of who they are in the world. This is mostly because of the compulsion of addiction and the fact that substance use and abuse becomes central to a sufferer’s existence. Meditation provides patients with a pathway to a quiet place within themselves which can be achieved by focusing on slow and deep breathing. This is an ancient practice that has been shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve overall well being. Meditation is also an invaluable coping mechanism against cravings and triggers in recovery.
  • Massage Therapy: Massage is extremely useful in relieving the symptoms of detox. This hands-on therapy is based on touch and improves blood circulation around the body while relieving any aching muscles and joints. People who have been using or abusing cocaine may have issues with their blood vessels, which can tighten as a result of vasoconstriction which occurs after prolonged use. Massage is particularly helpful in these cases as it naturally improves the blood flow in the body, improving withdrawal symptoms during holistic detox.
  • Adventure Therapy: Experiential treatments like hiking, boating, camping and more are offered at Elevate in order to challenge patients to push themselves beyond the boundaries of their illness. Adventure therapy immerses individuals into another world that’s way outside their comfort zone. Although this may sound challenging, it is in fact proven to be enormously effective in empowering people to achieve their own sobriety.
  • Physical Fitness: When a person is fit and healthy, they are better able to maintain a healthy recovery. Physical exercise is important in holistic non-12 step rehab as it enables patients to strengthen their bodies in defense against the damage done by substance abuse. Improved physical fitness also boosts self-confidence and overall feelings of well being by naturally producing dopamine. For many people leaving holistic non-12 step, fitness remains an important part of their daily regime boosting the chances of a successful and long-term recovery.
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