Differences Between Holistic and Traditional Addiction Treatment
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to addiction treatment. One approach that works for one individual might not be a good fit for someone else. Fortunately, there are a variety of effective evidence-based addiction treatments available. This article will explore both holistic and traditional approaches to substance use disorder treatment.
Holistic Approaches to Addiction Treatment
Taking a holistic approach to addiction treatment simply means treating the disease by addressing the mind, body, and spirit as a whole. The main belief behind holistic medicine is that these three components are all interconnected, and when one is unbalanced, it causes problems in the others. According to the American Holistic Health Association, a holistic approach to recovery integrates both alternative and conventional therapies to promote recovery.
Different Types of Holistic Addiction Treatment
There are dozens of holistic ways to treat addiction and people often try a variety of natural or holistic approaches simultaneously, as well as implement them into a traditional treatment program. Some common holistic treatments that are offered at inpatient addiction treatment in New Jersey include:
How Effective Is Holistic Addiction Treatment?
Because holistic treatment attempts to treat addiction in such a way that it does not always produce tangible results, it is challenging to determine the efficacy of the various types of treatment. For example, according to a review originally published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the evidence for the effects of acupuncture on opiate addiction is currently inconclusive.
The best way for individuals to determine if a treatment approach is working for them is to pay attention to how they feel during and after its application. There is no set scientific way to measure improvements in the mind or spirit, but individuals may feel a noticeable change in mood or personality after undergoing holistic treatment, which can have a positive effect on their overall recovery.
Traditional Approaches to Addiction Treatment
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are several main types of traditional treatment modalities when it comes to addiction; however, individual programs continue to evolve as research indicates what kind of approaches are typically effective, so many modern programs no longer fit into a standard classification. In general though, traditional approaches to drug addiction begin with a medical detox stage.
During medical detox, clients have access to a team of trained healthcare professionals who will help them manage the worst of their withdrawal symptoms. Following medical detox, individuals will work with a team of addiction treatment specialists to develop a treatment plan that best meets their needs, based on the extent of their addiction and their recovery needs, as well as their budget, schedule, and geographic location.
Different Types of Traditional Addiction Treatment
Different addiction facilities offer different types of addiction treatment. Individuals with severe addictions might graduate from one program to the next. For example, it is not uncommon for individuals to opt for residential treatment following the medical detox stage but to enroll in an outpatient program later. Some of the most common treatment programs following detox are:
How Effective is Traditional Addiction Treatment?
The efficacy rates of the different treatment modalities vary, but it is important to remember that addiction is a chronic illness, and as with most diseases, relapse is common; however, it is always possible to reenter recovery.
According to some studies, intensive outpatient programs are as effective at treating addiction as residential treatment programs. 50-70 Percent of subjects who enrolled in outpatient programs reported continued abstinence when researchers followed up, as did the same percentage of subjects who enrolled in inpatient programs.
When it comes to specific treatment approaches and not just the general structure through which they are applied, researchers have found that various types of therapy have proven to be effective for some people. For example, according to an analysis in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, Motivational Interviewing is 10-20 percent more effective at treating substance use disorders than no treatment at all. Researchers who conducted a study originally published in Psychiatric Clinics of North America found that 60 percent of participants who received cognitive behavioral therapy for cocaine dependence had clean toxicology reports at the one-year follow-up point.
Combining Holistic and Traditional Addiction Treatment Methods
Doctors and addiction experts do not recommend taking an entirely holistic approach to treating addiction because there is little tangible evidence of its efficacy; however, as a form of complementary medicine, it can help people feel more in control of their own treatment. A combination of traditional and holistic substance abuse treatment can often be a good solution for many people. The bottom line is that the more engaged and proactive people are in their treatment, the more effective their programs tend to be.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol and need help, there are effective treatment options available to get you on the road to recovery. Contact our helpful and knowledgeable admissions navigators at to learn more about Sunrise House Treatment Center, how to start the admissions process, and to find out more information about using insurance to pay for rehab.
If you don’t have insurance or are underinsured, our navigators can guide you through other ways to cover the cost of treatment.
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