Holistic Alcohol and Drug Treatment Methods

You might have found the word holistic in some of your rehab and treatment research. Holistic treatments for many illnesses, including substance use disorders, have gained popularity over the past several years.

The evidence surrounding holistic treatment is limited, but some holistic methods have a lot of appeal for those in recovery. Is a holistic treatment approach right for you and your recovery? The following paragraphs may help you decide. No matter what you do decide, Rehab Info is here to help.

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What is Holistic Treatment?

Some drug and alcohol treatments only address the behavior of using substances. The holistic approach, on the other hand, addresses the whole person: body, mind, and spirit. Holistic treatment is based on the idea that a person will heal more effectively if he or she addresses all of these areas. Holistic methods tend to employ “natural” methods rather than medication-based methods. A few examples of holistic treatments include these methods:


  • Massage
  • Meditation
  • Healthy eating
  • Exercise
  • Aromatherapy

These treatment methods serve to help patients feel better and gain an overall sense of wellbeing as they recover from their addictions.

About 38% of adults in the US use some form of alternative medicine.

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The Completely Holistic Approach

Some rehabs and treatment centers use a completely holistic approach. This generally means that they use many of the above treatments without the use of medication to manage withdrawal symptoms. Instead, they may use herbal supplements, vitamins, and essential oils to help patients deal with withdrawal. These treatment centers may also use individual therapy, group therapy, exercise, and modified versions of the 12 Steps to help patients achieve sobriety.


Remember, however, that “holistic” is not an FDA-regulated term. Two rehab centers that both claim to be “holistic” may have entirely different treatment methods. Do your research before committing to a specific rehab center. Make sure their treatment method is something that you’d be comfortable with before you check in. You can also call or ask a friend to call the rehab center to ask questions about specific treatments. Finding the right facility for your situation can have life changing benefits.

Do you need help with a drug or alcohol addiction? Rehab Info can help. Call 800-492-QUIT today.

The Combination Approach

This approach is far more common in rehab settings. With the combination approach, a treatment center will still use methods that are commonly found in holistic rehabs, including massage, yoga, and nutritional coaching. However, these rehabs also use evidence-based therapies and medication to help participants deal with detox and withdrawal. This combination can help participants address their mental and spiritual needs while healing their physical bodies from the damage caused by drugs or alcohol.


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Is Holistic Treatment Right for Me?

Your level of enthusiasm and dedication to your treatment will impact the effectiveness of that treatment.

In other words, the more excited you are about getting treatment, the better your chances of recovery. Therefore, if the idea of holistic treatment appeals to you, you may very well find success with this method. Have you had success with holistic approaches in other parts of your life? Then a holistic approach to substance abuse treatment may also prove successful.

Who Should Not Use Holistic Treatment?

Most experts recommend detoxing in a medical facility rather than attempting to detox alone. Detox can be dangerous, and without medical help, the detox process may even become fatal. Sometimes medication during detox is not just preferable, but also necessary.


For example, doctors prefer a “tapering-off” method for those who have an addiction to heroin or other opioids. With this method, medical professionals administer methadone or a similar opioid medication in smaller and smaller doses until the patient’s body heals from its dependence. Why couldn’t the patient simply quit cold turkey? Because the sudden absence of drugs would cause a shock to the system, and the patient may have seizures or another medical emergency as a result.

Generally, the more dangerous your drug of choice, the more dangerous the detox process. If you have an addiction to a particularly dangerous substance like heroin or cocaine, you should delay holistic treatment in favor of medical treatment, at least for the first phase of your recovery. After detox, you may seek out more holistic methods.

Making the Right Choice

Are you interested in pursuing holistic treatment for your drug or alcohol addiction? Would you rather try a different method? Or perhaps you’re not sure yet which type of treatment is right for you. In any case, Rehab Info is here to help you sort through your options.


Are you concerned that you can’t afford rehab? Did you know that your health insurance plan may pay for some of your expenses? Companies like The Empire Plan, Cigna, and United Healthcare have policies with drug rehab coverage. Call us today and find out how.

We’ll take the time to listen to you and understand

your situation before helping you decide which treatment path you’d like to explore. Are you ready to take your life back from addiction?
Have HMO or PPO insurance? Get a list of 5 Star Rehab Centers that work with your insurance!
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