The interconnectedness of drug addiction and mental health is well-established. Medical sciences realized that one must heal the mind in order to truly heal the body. The holistic approach to drug addiction takes this line of thinking a step further by prioritizing the individual’s mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, and social well-being.
What is Holistic Addiction Treatment?
To put it simply, holistic addiction treatment is a big-picture approach. It views substance abuse as a result of a greater problem rather than an isolated issue of compulsion. Unlike traditional addiction treatment which focuses solely on alleviating symptoms or correcting the behaviors directly related to drug use, a holistic program considers the individual’s overall well-being. This is done by taking into account five specific aspects of the patient’s overall well-being: mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, and social.
Yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and art therapy, are just a few of the modalities used alongside the traditional elements of drug rehab such as detox, therapy, and counseling. There are literally hundreds of techniques available to help target these components which allow for an incredible degree of personalization. For this reason, holistic programs are ideal for individuals who have already been through a drug rehab program (or two) and just can’t seem to find the right kind of treatment.
Holistic treatment is also sometimes referred to as complementary therapy, supplemental therapy, or integrative therapy.
Benefits of Holistic Drug Addiction Treatment
Patients gain a better understanding of why they turned to drugs or alcohol in the first place and lower their likelihood of relapsing.
Non-traditional addiction therapy approaches often include creative expressions such as drama, visual arts, and music which can provide motivation and balance long after treatment is over.
The alternative methods of treatment have a more casual atmosphere that feels less clinical, which some may find intimidating.
The focus is on long-term recovery rather than temporarily stopping one’s use of drugs or alcohol.
There is diversity in treatment approaches and can choose therapy modalities that most interest you or are the most relevant to your circumstances.
Can help a person learn skills that they can carry into their daily lives to reduce stress and reduce the risk of relapse after treatment.
Many of the same holistic treatment remedies used in addiction recovery have also been shown to assist in non-medicated chronic pain management.
Myths & Misconceptions
Holistic medicine isn’t just a trendy fad in healthcare. Many of the practices used today are ones rooted in ancient medicine and have been backed by science. The greatest benefit? Many of these programs instill positive habits, useful as relapse prevention and general life skills. A holistic approach can uncover how seemingly unrelated aspects of your life might have contributed to your substance abuse.
A common assumption is that holistic treatment only uses non-traditional methods to treat substance abuse. Although the holistic approach utilizes practices that are technically classified as alternative medicine, our drug and alcohol rehab program incorporates both traditional and non-traditional, evidence-based methods. We found that applying both approaches had tremendous benefits for our patients. Our holistic drug rehab programs are designed to promote the development of insight and knowledge while changing behaviors and developing more positive thought patterns.
The Components of Holistic Medicine
The philosophy behind a holistic approach to addiction treatment is that substance abuse is often the result of an internal imbalance. This imbalance occurs if your mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, and social needs aren’t being fulfilled. Somebody who regularly engages in prayer and meditation may find that certain physical symptoms make it harder to maintain inner peace. A person who believes strongly in spiritual remedies may also have their faith shattered by a series of events that throw their emotions off-balance. These components of holistic medicine are all potential contributors to your substance abuse behaviors that eventually led to addiction.
Anxiety and depression rank among the most common causes of substance abuse. Many individuals with a substance disorder also suffer from undiagnosed mental or behavioral disorders. Scientific and evidence-based practices help bring these issues to light, and holistic alcohol and drug rehab programs provide non-medicinal ways to deal with them on an ongoing basis. Moreover, these practices can help them replace harmful thinking patterns with positive ones, facilitating the ongoing improvement of their overall mental and emotional health
For those who struggle with chronic pain and other physical ailments, the term “self-medication” takes on a literal meaning. However, there is a difference between pain and suffering. Pain cannot be controlled. Suffering exists largely in the mind. Identifying the link between mind and body through practices such as meditation and yoga has been shown to have physical benefits by providing ways of overcoming pain while reducing unnecessary suffering.
Many who self-medicate through drugs and alcohol simply don’t like the way they feel. Certain emotions they have regarding their self-worth or the state of the world around them prove too difficult to bear. Through activity and self-expression, holistic treatment can help individuals find ways to process these emotions and handle them in a healthier manner.
Many holistic methods focus on the idea that addiction requires a spiritual remedy. Certain practices such as prayer, meditation, and yoga are inherently spiritual. Others, such as nutrition and massage, may not appear spiritual at first glance. Think, however, of what one gains from spirituality. The carefree feeling of oneness with the surrounding world is a natural side effect of treatment methods that allow the patient’s bodily sensations to coalesce with their emotional mind. As such, holistic drug rehab services will go a long way toward facilitating a sense of spiritual healing.
Our Holistic Treatment Options
Amethyst Recovery offers many complementary and supplemental services that may be considered a part of our integrative care program. The following have proven to be some of the most popular among our clientele.
Meditation – There are many forms of meditation. Concerning holistic addiction treatment, mindfulness training tends to rank among the most common. The patient will learn to bring mind, body, and spirit together as one by focusing on the breath and the body sensations as they occur while in a state of full present-moment awareness. The industry-recognized Seeking Safety method of trauma and addiction recovery, practiced weekly at Amethyst, utilizes meditation by guiding patients through a period of deep hypnosis and guided meditation, teaching them to confront feelings of discomfort and challenge them by discovering imagery that brings them to a state of quiet and inner calm.
Prayer – Those who prefer religious healing in addition to treatment methods that may be regarded as more generally spiritual will have access to faith-based groups as well as weekend worship. Personal prayer, whenever and wherever necessary, is also highly encouraged.
Yoga – Outside instructors will guide patients through basic yoga exercises, varying in their level of physical demand. Not only will patients be able to engage in a more active form of meditation and mental awareness, but their bodies will be exercised in the process. This is a common method used in holistic drug rehab programs, as it enables physical healing while also promoting mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Massage – Two days per week, Amethyst patients have access to chiropractic massage therapy. Known primarily for its ability to relieve patients of physical tension, massage also provides a quiet space for patients to clear their minds of all disturbing thoughts. The relaxation experienced after a massage introduces patients to the state of serenity experienced once holistic addiction treatment teaches them to ease their minds from disturbing thoughts and focus on the peace available to them in all moments.
Expressive Arts – Many treatment centers offer art therapy or expressive arts as part of their holistic drug rehab program. During occasional expressive arts groups, patients will receive assignments that allow them to express themselves in creative ways. They can then assess the meaning behind the manner in which they chose to complete their arts and crafts exercises. While standard therapy proves helpful in the holistic addiction treatment process, allowing patients to tap into their sense of creativity may help them identify thought patterns that are not obvious from looking at the basic thoughts that run through their heads on a daily basis.
Nutrition – Diet, and exercise affect more than just our bodies. They also affect the mind and spirit that reside within our bodies. Amethyst keeps a nutritionist on staff to speak with patients about their eating habits. As fitness and nutrition improve the patient’s physical health, they will find themselves developing a stronger clarity of mind and spirit as well.
So how exactly does holistic addiction treatment work? What are we looking for? How will we know the root causes when we find them? The type of integrative therapy used in most holistic alcohol and drug rehab programs works by looking at a few specific factors. Generally speaking, the objectives of any successful holistic addiction treatment program should include:
Easing the physical symptoms and effects of withdrawal and long-term addiction.
Treating emotional imbalances or past issues that may have led to substance abuse, or that might have resulted from substance abuse.
Reversing the indirect effects of addiction—for example, helping people learn the basics of good nutrition as their body repairs itself following a period of substance abuse.
Promoting a sense of physical healing. The body’s systems are often unbalanced when someone abuses substances, and ongoing discomfort can become a trigger if not properly addressed.
Providing supplemental or alternative therapies such as meditation, yoga, prayer, mindfulness training, or physical exercise and activities.
Why Consider A Holistic Approach to Drug Rehab?
While much of this page focuses on the concept of integrative care, the term “supplemental” suggests an important component of the holistic addiction treatment process. Regardless of which holistic treatment options a client may choose to utilize, evidence-based practices remain the cornerstone of their treatment process. Intensive individual and group therapy sessions along with access to outside support groups will form their basic understanding of what it means to recover.
These practices, while vital to the recovery process, still leave some blank spaces unexplored. Each client’s therapy session will benefit them in different ways, and two clients may sit in the same support meeting while benefitting from entirely different messages shared by its members. Setting aside the importance of a structured recovery process, the problem with cookie-cutter approaches that enforce conformity is that they fail to let the client grow as a true individual.
By supplementing traditional practices with other methods of care, the holistic approach to addiction treatment allows each person to color in the blank spaces of their recovery with practices that address the root causes of their addiction while helping them develop a well-rounded sense of self. Over time, they come to realize that the “self” they are discovering is at once both an integral part of who they are and a largely unexplored part of who they can become if they remain sober.
This may sound like a tall order for practices such as yoga, meditation and nutrition, but many have found that such tools serve to benefit their sense of ongoing recovery during the hours between meetings and therapy sessions. To say that holistic drug rehab is supplemental, or to say that it is integrative, misses the true beauty of the fact that it is both at once.
Most holistic drug rehab programs, including Amethyst Recovery’s, allow their services to remain largely optional. While most evidence-based practices such as therapy and addiction education are fairly compulsory, holistic treatment options such as meditation and yoga are purely voluntary. Patients are encouraged to try anything they can at least once but only stick with the practices that suit them best.
After engaging in various holistic healing methods, they can process their feelings about these methods with the clinical team in order to determine whether the method in question will be a fit for them as they determine the path of healing that will best assist them in their ongoing recovery journey.
By providing integrative care in this fashion, holistic addiction treatment allows for a truly individualized program. Two patients with similar backgrounds and root causes may find that the healing practices which work best for them are entirely different. Only through open-minded experimentation can they truly find their path. Our job is to help them discover what works best and to support them as they pursue a road to progress that will hopefully serve them long after they leave our care.
About Our Holistic Drug Rehab Program
Amethyst Recovery’s holistic addiction treatment program aims to help each person discover the answer for themselves. We see every patient as a complex person with varying needs, experiences, and complexities. One of the best ways for addiction to be treated is with an understanding of the whole person, and that requires the time and care to see each of our patients for who they are on the inside.
Clients at Amethyst Recovery Center are encouraged to choose their own level of participation in our holistic addiction treatment program. For many, simply beginning each day with a few minutes of meditation may prove positive, while others might prefer to close out their days with a healing yoga session.
Just as each of our clients has followed a different path to arrive at Amethyst, we encourage them to decide upon their own participation in these groups so that they may receive the greatest benefit from them. The wide array of services offered in our holistic drug and alcohol rehab will allow for a great deal of experimentation as our patients seek to unravel their true identity and discover which healing methods serve them best.
Find a Maryland-based Program Near You
The journey begun in our holistic drug rehab will not necessarily end there. Prior to entering treatment at Amethyst Recovery, our clients often find themselves feeling lost and without a sense of self or purpose. Upon leaving, they will have made great strides in their journey toward self-discovery. This journey, however, is part of a lifelong process.
As such, those who undergo our holistic addiction treatment process will require long-term support as they continue to experiment with the methods of recovery that help them to accomplish a sense of overall well-being. Amethyst Recovery offers weekly aftercare groups that will allow them to maintain contact with peers and therapists as they continue their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual growth. Detox and residential treatment may end, but recovery never does. Those who helped you begin your journey should help you to see it through, as long as you require the help.
Amethyst Recovery also checks in with our clients from time to time in order to ensure that they are satisfied with the outcomes experienced since treatment. If they have encountered a rough patch since leaving our facilities, we can offer suggestions to keep their sobriety on track. Those who heal together share a special bond. We honor that bond through our dedication to the ongoing support of our clients.
Our holistic addiction treatment program utilizes multiple treatment methods beyond detox and access to therapy. We help people overcome addiction by promoting positive mental health, physical well-being, and an overall healthier lifestyle. Also giving them the tools to live a healthy and drug-free life long after successful completion of our program.
Addiction Treatment Programs
Whether you or your family member is struggling with addiction, you are not alone in this journey. Explore our expansive addiction resources, including our guides for teens, parents, and spouses, as well as relatable recovery stories from Amethyst Alumni.