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Alternative Treatment

There are many ways to tackle a drug addiction problem, from intensive medication therapy through to behavioral and motivational programs. While most treatment programs are based on conventional medical and psychotherapeutic principles, a number of alternative treatment programs have become available in recent times. Alternative treatment includes creative therapies such as art therapy and drama therapy, physical therapies such as yoga and exercise, and spiritual therapies such as meditation and Christian treatment. If you know anyone who could benefit from addiction treatment, it is important to contact professional help as soon as possible.

The Drug Treatment Process

Addiction treatment programs often begin with detoxification, with various methods employed to help people abstain from drugs and manage associated withdrawal symptoms. Medically assisted detox is available alongside natural and “cold turkey” regimes, with the substance and extent of addiction greatly affecting the methods used. Detox is designed primarily to help people stop using drugs, with medications sometimes administered to reduce potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. While detox is crucial, especially for physical drug addictions, it does not address the issues that underpin addiction.

Rehabilitation programs are also recommended, with residential and outpatient programs both employed to treat the psychological aspects of drug addiction. Conventional rehab treatment is based on cognitive, behavioral, and motivational principles, with alternative programs also employed throughout the rehab process.

Creative Therapies

Alternative treatment is often based on creative principles, with examples including art therapy, music therapy, and drama therapy. During creative therapy, the creative process itself is used as a therapeutic act. For example, during art therapy the patient is taught how to communicate their thoughts and feelings by creating a piece of art. This allows them to confront their problems without the limitations of conventional language, boost their self-esteem by making something they can be proud of, and create new associations without resorting to impulsive and compulsive behavioral responses. Other creative therapies work in a similar way, with music therapy involving the composition or appreciation of a musical piece, and drama therapy helping people live out various scenarios in order to confront the issues surrounding abuse and addiction.

Spiritual Therapies

Spiritual and religious rehabilitation programs are available throughout Washington and across the United States. While most rehab regimes have a secular and scientific approach, spiritual programs help people address their addiction issues in relation to their spirituality. For example, Christ-based treatment centers may understand addiction as a spiritual lacking, with people advised to improve their relationship with God in order to overcome their addiction issues. The conventional 12-step approach is also based on spiritual-religious foundations, with people needing to admit a lack of control over their addiction and recognize a higher power in order to overcome their issues. Residential and outpatient rehab programs often specialize in spiritual programs, either on a stand-alone basis or in combination with conventional therapies.

Meditation and Mindfulness

Not all spiritual programs are based on Christianity, with an increasing number of rehab centers providing meditation and mindfulness programs. While meditation is not necessarily a spiritual practice, it is based on traditional Buddhist and Taoist principles. Recovering drug addicts and alcoholics can learn a lot through meditation, and the act of mindfulness helps people to recognize unhelpful thoughts and feelings before they lead to unhealthy compulsive responses. If you are struggling with a drug or alcohol problem, dial an addiction specialist to learn more about the benefits of alternative treatment.