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Substance use disorder or addiction as its perhaps better known as a complex illness that affects all areas of an individual’s life. The illness is characterized by an inability to stop abusing substances despite the detrimental consequences for the sufferer and the people close to them. It is largely due to the fact that substance abuse affects a person’s mental, physical and emotional health that holistic drug treatment centers are considered more effective than medical/drug-replacement programs.

The principle difference between holistic drug rehab centers and more traditional facilities using pharmacological therapies is that the person is treated rather than the symptoms of their illness. Holistic rehab seeks to identify the deeply-held or underlying issues that are driving an individual’s addictive behavior with a view to healing them.

Here we take a look at the top ten techniques used in holistic drug rehab centers:

Physical Fitness: The body goes through a great deal when a person is struggling with substance abuse. Due to the compulsive nature of addiction, people generally become preoccupied with obtaining and using drugs or alcohol to the detriment of their physical wellbeing. Improving physical fitness can significantly boost a person’s self-confidence, giving them more motivation to maintain good health and avoid relapse in recovery. Being physically fit also ensures the body can fight infections efficiently, which will improve recovery outcomes considerably.

Art and Music Therapy: People with addiction illness have often become withdrawn and isolated from those close to them. This can be for a number of reasons including the fact that they don’t want to be challenged on their substance abuse or because they’re simply not able to put what they feel into words. Creative therapies involving art and music provide patients with alternative channels for communication that aren’t based on speech or vocabulary. It is easier to express thoughts and emotions through the media of music and art as they are activities that require a degree of introspection, allowing patients to communicate through color, form or sound.

Healthy Nutritious Food: Nutritional education is an essential component of treatment at holistic drug rehab centers as it addresses the imbalances in the body caused by substance abuse. Nutritionists at holistic recovery centers work with each individual to create a personalized dietary strategy that will ensure their health is sufficiently robust to support them through rehab and into recovery. For people who have neglected themselves and their diet in favor of using substances, a sound nutritional program can have significant health benefits.

Stress Management: Finding healthy ways of responding to difficult situations is important for a person who has been using drugs or alcohol in response to stress. Holistic practices such as meditation or deep-breathing allow patients to find natural mechanisms they can use when faced with a situation that might otherwise lead to them using. Holistic drug rehab arms patients with the tools they need to cope effectively, without the need for any harmful medications.

Mindfulness: Mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga are ancient forms of therapy designed to strengthen spirituality. This does not mean that people are required to be necessarily spiritual or religious to get the benefits. What mindfulness involves is learning how to exist in the moment. Many of the emotional problems people have as a result of substance abuse are due to their preoccupation with the past and fear of the future. Mindfulness allows patients to rebalance their mind, body, and spirit so that they can silence negative internal dialogue and be at peace with themselves.

Adventure Therapy: Adventure therapy is an experiential activity offered at holistic drug treatment centers to challenge patients to step outside of their comfort zone. Being placed in environments and terrains that are unfamiliar and difficult to navigate pushes patients to identify skills they may never have known they had. The sense of fulfillment gained from adventure and the camaraderie formed during this challenging activity contributes significantly to boosting self-confidence and also motivation to remain substance-free in recovery.

Behavioral Therapies: Behavioral therapies such as CBT are evidence-based, which means research shows they are successful, particularly within an addiction context. Behavioral therapies are generally discussion-based and with the guidance of a therapist, patients are able to identify the thoughts and feelings that are underlying their addiction illness. The ultimate objective of behavioral therapies is to replace negative patterns with more positive responses and actions that don’t involve the use of any substances.

Massage Therapy: Most of us enjoy a massage session and can benefit from this technique involving therapeutic touch. However, for someone going through detox, massage therapy can be enormously beneficial in reducing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. This holistic technique is known to improve circulation, reduce muscle and joint aches and lower blood pressure. Massage therapy also considerably improves an individual’s feeling of wellbeing and reinforces relapse prevention.

Journaling: Putting thoughts and feelings into writing allows us a different perspective and provides clarity on difficult issues. An individual in rehab can derive enormous benefit from keeping a journal of their recovery journey. Honesty is important when it comes to this form of therapy as the notes made in a patient’s journal are intended to assist them in maintaining sobriety. Reporting on the times when cravings are difficult to ignore or when the person responded in a positive way to a difficult situation provides an honest progress report. Looking back over journal entries as recovery progresses can serve to reinforce someone’s sense of achievement at how far they have come.


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