The following is an article by Kimberly Hayes.
This article discusses alternative treatments for addiction recovery.
I hope you enjoy this article.
Determining the most effective treatments for addiction recovery isn’t easy, because not all methods work for everyone. Many experts agree that treating the body and the mind effectively helps people focus their minds and relieve stress and anxiety—triggers for substance abuse which often lead to relapses during recovery.
You’ll want to explore different methods with your doctor after you evaluate the holistic, non-traditional therapies available. The benefits they offer include:
- A comprehensive approach that addresses your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.
- A more natural approach to healing by using the body’s ability to heal itself.
- Accessibility for people who are intimidated by or uncomfortable about the more traditional treatment options.
- An increased possibility that you’ll uncover underlying issues that talk therapy might not discover.
- An opportunity to learn new skills and ways to exist happily in the world. You’ll increase your ability to maintain your recovery and more successfully and healthfully handle future challenges.
- Less emphasis on religion; these alternatives don’t bash religion, but do provide a more secular approach, which increases their appeal for those who don’t follow a Western or Christian religion.
- More emphasis on self-empowerment by encouraging recovering addicts to channel their own strength to overcome their addictions.
- A willingness to stay updated with current research in evidence-based approaches, like cognitive behavioral therapy, to treat addiction and incorporate those techniques into their systems.
Mental health disorders are often intertwined with substance abuse disorders (SUD), and GoodTherapy.org provides a comprehensive breakdown of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) used in combination with traditional methods to treat mental health and SUD.
Alternative recovery methods
If you’re exploring other possibilities besides the traditional 12-step programs to aid in your addiction recovery, this list—while by no means exhaustive—is a good place to start.
Yoga. Often partnered with meditation, yoga gently improves your flexibility and helps your body to heal physically from the effects of substance abuse.
Meditation. Focusing on inner strength, peace, and connectedness, meditation helps you to narrow and focus your thoughts, block out negativity, and quiet your mind. By increasing your self-awareness, you learn how to embrace that inner strength and reduce cravings.
Exercise. Daily exercise, even if only 20-30 minutes a day, boosts your mood and releases endorphins, which increase feelings of well-being and happiness. Exercise improves the functions of your endocrine, pulmonary, and cardiac systems; improves oxygen and nutrient delivery; and positively affects your brain’s executive control processes, which include memory, multitasking, and planning or strategizing.
Healthy eating. Healthier food choices can control cravings, depression, anxiety, and other factors that trigger addictive behaviors. This food chart provides a roadmap of options that address nutritional deficits by incorporating more proteins, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory vitamins and minerals, omega-3 essential fatty acids, and fibers into your diet.
12-Step group alternatives. There’s no doubt about the efficacy of 12-step group programs; however, not everyone benefits from participating—for many different reasons. Other nationwide programs have existed for decades, including:
- Women for Sobriety (WFS), a national self-help program geared toward women recovering from addiction.
- SMART Recovery, which uses cognitive behavioral approaches in its 1,200 groups worldwide.
- Secular Organizations for Sobriety, founded by a recovering alcoholic in the mid 1980s as an alternative to AA.
- LifeRing Secular Recovery (LSF), which focuses on human efforts and individual motivation to maintain addiction recovery.
Regardless of where you are in your addiction recovery, experts agree that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. Recognizing their effectiveness when partnered with more traditional treatments, many treatment centers have embraced alternative therapies. More recovering addicts are using these holistic treatments in conjunction with more traditional methods. While not a panacea for treating SUD, these alternative treatments do have a profound, positive influence on the recovery process—and beyond.
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I hope you enjoyed Kimberly’s article on alternative treatments for addiction recovery.
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