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Are Holistic Treatments Safe Treatment Methods for Drug Addiction?

Holistic methods, including options like yoga, meditation, acupuncture, art therapy, performance art, spiritual growth, etc., are currently very popular for the treatment of many different physical and mental disorders, including addiction and substance abuse. But are these methods safe for drug addiction treatment?

The Effectiveness of Holistic Treatments

Some holistic options include those which are named above, but the term itself implies that the whole individual is being treated and not just the symptoms of their disorder. Therefore, holistic options can also include vocational counseling, housing help, and medical care for a person’s physical and psychological issues that may not be directly related to their addiction. These options have been found to be incredibly beneficial to many individuals, especially those who have trouble with certain established methods.

According to a study from the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, holistic methods can “help patients develop a stronger sense of self-identity, self-esteem and self-confidence” that sometimes traditional methods cannot build. In addition, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states that recovery itself is “holistic, addresses the whole person and their community,” and should be achieved through many different treatment and help services. It is important, though, to understand why these options are considered holistic and not traditional and what that could mean for a patient in recovery.

Evidence-Based Approaches vs. Holistic Methods

yoga holistic treatment

Yoga is a beneficial holistic treatment option.

As stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, certain treatment options are evidence-based, meaning that they are “designed to address certain aspects of drug addiction and its consequences for the individual, family, and society,” as well as having been more or less accepted by the medical community. These include behavioral therapy (or counseling) and pharmacological therapy (or medications). Holistic methods, while sometimes having been studied to a point, have not been accepted into the medical community as a whole and usually do not have the kind of overwhelming research that evidence-based approaches have achieved over the years.

This is not to say that holistic methods are unsafe. Many of them have few side effects, some even fewer than certain evidence-based approaches like pharmaceuticals. However, the lack of overwhelming evidence means most doctors would not recommend a treatment regimen based solely on holistic methods. An individual who is interested in one of the options listed above should understand that they should be used as a supplement to an overall treatment program that includes evidence-based approaches as well.

Are Holistic Methods Safe for Drug Addiction Treatment?

Many holistic methods are perfectly safe, and if you do decide one may be beneficial to you, you should absolutely research it first to find out any issues that may arise with the treatment. Most holistic methods, though, cause very minimal, if any, problems or side effects for patients and can be immensely helpful in treating addiction.

The way to ensure the safe use of holistic methods during addiction treatment is to ensure that you have an all-encompassing treatment program that takes all your needs into account and utilizes several different treatment methods in order to help you more fully and safely recover from addiction. If you have more questions about holistic methods or would like to find a rehab center that offers them, call 800-481-6320 today.

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