Despite what people think of the matter, addiction treatment is not as simple as going through detox and then rehabilitation. These programs are designed to sustain sobriety, however, your success is dependent on many different factors.
In many cases, the treatment needs to address multiple aspects of the person. This is what holistic addiction treatment is all about. There are instances where the addiction was brought on for a number of reasons.
To ensure that recovery is complete, and at the same time prevent a possible relapse, all of these reasons need to be addressed.
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What is a Holistic Treatment?
Holistic treatment refers to a specific approach used in health care intervention where issues involving the mind and the body are addressed simultaneously.
Studies done by the various rehabilitation facilities on patients indicate that in many instances, people with substance dependency issues often require a more complex approach to their case.
This is due to the fact that the probable cause of substance dependency could have both physical and mental aspects, and the damage incurred could involve both aspects as well.
The premise of holistic therapy also takes into account the overall well-being of a person and taken in the context of addiction treatment, it should not only help in healing and recovery but also in ensuring that the person will not have any inclination towards self-harm again. This enforces sobriety and steers the person away from any chance of a relapse.
What is Holistic Addiction Treatment?
Many view the holistic approach as ideal for use in addiction therapy. This is due to the fact that addiction damages not only a person’s body but the mind as well.
Many aspects of addiction treatment target the neurological and psychological damage done by extensive abuse of substances. These tend to be among the most difficult to deal with, and often increase the chances of a relapse.
Complete recovery and sobriety are hinged upon a person’s ability to not give in to using and abusing substances again, regardless of the circumstances. This is important to understand because there are many instances in life that could break down a person’s willpower.
This, in turn, could push the person to get into substances once more.
Many find an easy escape through alcohol or drug use when:
Faced with adverse circumstances
Highly stressful events
Emotionally damaging instances, as it could provide a moment of distraction.
Issues that persist, however, tend to make a person seek out repeated distractions, undoing any kind of progress done by rehabilitation.
Even something as basic as chronic pain could push a person into abusing substances once more, as painkillers are included in the list of the most abused substances.
Holistic rehab not only deals with the physical issues that could trigger a relapse but also with the psychological conditioning needed to help the person develop coping skills that don’t involve using substances once more when faced with adversities.
How Beneficial is Holistic Addiction Treatment?
In many cases of rehabilitation, evidence-based methods such as medication-assisted treatment and cognitive behavioral therapy are the preferred modes. These practices have straightforward goals that are easier to track and monitor.
Another reason for the popularity of these approaches is because the results could be tracked against the goals, these methods are also covered by insurance. Treatments involving the holistic approach, however, are not as acceptable when it comes to insurance.
Despite this, however, facilities that offer holistic rehab are valued for research studies on the kind of treatment that affect behavior, recovery rate, and other relevant aspects of therapy.
Rehabilitation centers that offer holistic addiction treatment have noted that many patients actually benefit from the practice in ways not necessarily associated with the more traditional forms of therapy, including:
Increased Sense of Self
The holistic approach puts a focus on the whole self. This allows a better understanding of some aspects that would normally be left out in the more traditional forms of assessment and treatment.
The more traditional forms of assessment mostly dwell on the usual or more common issues relevant to addiction. Should this type of assessment not prove to be enough, only then would the other possible causes or issues be explored.
Standard holistic addiction treatment takes a broader approach to assessment and looks at every possible angle, allowing a greater and deeper look into what might be wrong.
A deeper and greater understanding of the entire being provides a better sense of what else could be wrong. This allows multiple facets to be looked at more closely, and all at once, instead of just trying to look at either a physical or psychological issue.
As the focus of holistic addiction treatment is the entire self, all of the issues get to be addressed. This scope could even address potential issues before they become actual problems.
Incidental Treatment of Depression and Anxiety
Many of the activities and approaches used in holistic treatment employ methods that involve meditation, exercise, and physical activities known to make a person feel better and give a sense of accomplishment.
These things are also incidentally the non-medication-related things suggested to people who suffer from depression and other anxiety disorders. By eliminating these underlying issues, any further complication to therapy is removed, increasing the chances of successful treatment.
Used as a treatment for substance abuse, the holistic approach also comes with specific benefits.
Aid in Dealing with Difficult Withdrawal Symptoms
Certain withdrawal symptoms make rehabilitation and recovery even more difficult. This includes symptoms that induce pain, muscle spasms, and other conditions brought on by substance abuse.
The holistic approach makes use of alternative methods such as massage and , traditionally used to deal with a host of deep tissue issues.
Aid in Dealing with Compulsive Behavior Associated with Substance Abuse
The holistic method also teaches a person to internalize and take a long, hard look at how much worse things have become since they started abusing substances.
This approach is done to help in dealing with the developed compulsions that come with substance abuse, such as the need to abuse them. By understanding how impactful the inability to resist compulsion is, the hope is that the person realizes how much sobriety is a matter of choice.
Aid in Building Spiritual Grounding
Many believe that only evidence-based methods grounded in absolute science could help in treating substance abuse issues. This credibility could be attributed to the fact that these evidence-based methods produce data used in comparative studies.
There are those, however, who believe true healing comes with spiritual grounding, where a person’s belief plays a crucial part in motivating a person to want to get better. This motivating force actually has a basis in psychology, where a person’s absolute mindset helps in improving their health and also aids in weeding out activities that contribute to self-harm.
Aid in Creating Healthy Habits
An integral part of the rehabilitation process is the development of habits that would help a person become healthy again. This includes learning to eat healthily and avoid vices and other activities that could eventually lead to substance abuse once more.
The holistic method takes a more unified approach to this with the introduction of a healthy lifestyle, complete with activities such as meditation, yoga, and exercise, as the goal is to not only feel healthy but also to feel good about the entire process.
Why Would People Pick Holistic Treatment over Conventional Treatment?
More and more medical professionals are understanding that in many cases of substance abuse, there could be more than one issue that is causing it or fueling it.
It could be a combination of some physical trauma that also left mental scars, or conversely, some psychological concern that later on induced an actual physical issue.
This is why people are learning to appreciate how holistic addiction treatment looks at the issue from a broader perspective. The fact that it addresses the entire being of the person offers more than just one approach to the problem of substance abuse.
Learn More About the Holistic Method of Treatment from Free By the Sea
There is much to be said about approaching the issue of addiction from more than one perspective, as it may be more complex than most people think.
The medical professionals at Free by the Sea know that to fully understand the problem, there is a need to understand the person more fully. This is why we here at Free by the Sea believe that the holistic approach could prove to be a complementary treatment option for many seeking freedom from addiction.
Dr. Richard Crabbe joined our team in 2019 as our psychiatrist and medical director. He attended the University of Ghana Medical School where he became a Medical Doctor in 1977. From 1978 through 1984, he was a medical officer in the Ghana Navy and provided a variety of services from general medicine to surgeries. He received his Certificate in General Psychology from the American Board of Psychology and Neurology in 2002.