The Benefits of Holistics in Addiction Treatment and Recovery


The hardest part of the addiction recovery process is getting started. So many substance abusers struggling with addiction don’t come forward for help out of fear of withdrawal symptoms. Thankfully, the majority of rehabilitation centers all over the U.S. has addressed this issue by introducing certain holistic therapies into their recovery plans.

What Exactly Are Holistics?

Holistics, also called alternative treatment, are designed to ease these withdrawal symptoms of patients in addiction recovery. These types of rehab programs utilize an integrated model of treatment to address the physical, mental, and spiritual harm caused by substance abuse and addiction. Unlike most other rehab programs, holistics borrows from both medicinal practices and the holism mentality that healing doesn’t happen in segments or parts. Part of what makes holistics in addiction recovery so popular is that it focuses on healing the whole person— not just the addiction.

The Debate of Holistics in Addiction Treatment

Holistics aid in a recovery patient's satisfaction and motivationThe National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has determined that today, more than one-third of adults in the U.S. utilize holistic medicine one way or another. They also claim that this trend only seems to increase with each passing year. However, just because something is popular does not mean it is effective. Regarding holistics in addiction treatment, there is an ongoing debate as to whether or not they actually assist in the addiction recovery process.

The biggest argument against holistics in addiction treatment is that there is no research to suggest its effectiveness. Nay-sayers believe that there is no reliable correlation between holistics and the progression of addiction healing. This, however, is only half-true. There is an abundance of research from the journal Psychiatric Services and other similar scientific sources indicating that holistics aid in a recovering patient’s satisfaction and motivation— both of which contribute heavily to achieving long-term sobriety at the end of treatment.

It’s also important to note that holistics are very rarely used independently of other models in addiction recovery. In fact, almost all forms of holistic therapy— like yoga, acupuncture, and therapeutic massage— are meant to supplement more traditional treatments like individual counseling and medical detox.

The Benefits of Holistics in Addiction Treatment and Recovery

A Wide Variety of Treatment Options

Anyone who is familiar with addiction treatment and recovery already knows that the ‘one size fits all’ approach never works. Each patient suffers from addiction in different ways. So, their treatments should be personalized to their specific needs for a successful recovery. Implementing holistic treatment is one of the most significant benefits of individualized care because patients in recovery won’t be limited by the types of therapies they can receive for substance abuse recovery.

Some of the more popular examples of holistic treatment techniques include:

These treatment options are designed to treat the mind, body, and spirit collectively. By utilizing these forms of treatment with other more traditional methods, patients can restore all areas of their health beyond gaining sobriety.

Holistics Can Be Offered in Both Inpatient and Outpatient Addiction Treatment

One of the most significant benefits of holistics in addiction treatment is its flexibility. Everything from acupuncture to relaxation therapy is typically available to patients in both an inpatient and outpatient setting. So, there is no limit to what patients can include in their treatment plans.

Treatment for the Patient, Not the Symptoms

Any person struggling with addiction amounts to more than a group of symptoms. So, the best treatment plans should cater to the patients’ welfare throughout the treatment process. There are countless physical, psychological, social and emotional factors that feed substance abuse and addiction; and since the purpose of holistics is to heal the whole individual, it addresses all of these areas by delving past the physical symptoms.

As a result, patients in recovery stand a better chance of identifying any underlying emotional and physiological components of their addiction during non-holistic treatments like individual counseling. Additionally, patients who use holistic therapies also stand a better chance of staying sober once rehabilitation is over since holistics teach necessary coping skills that help manage stress and cravings.

Holistics Offer Empowerment to Patients in Recovery

benefits of holistic treatmentThe idea that we are each responsible for our own destiny is one that’s existed for millennia. In addiction recovery, patients are responsible for the decision to change their lives and get sober. It’s not always easy since positive changes can’t be forced. This is why the holistic approach is so empowering for patients in addiction recovery. Working with staff and counselors to heal the whole self allows patients to take charge and set a course towards sobriety and a fresh new life. After all, rehab should not be about professionals telling you how to live your life— it should be about receiving help in the healing process, gaining knowledge about yourself, and learning new skills to put to use in sobriety.

Traditional Therapies are Still the Foundation of Addiction Treatment

Usually, addiction treatment professionals use holistics in conjunction with other, more conventional therapies. This is probably the most important thing to remember about the utilization of holistics in addiction recovery. As mentioned previously, holistics in addiction treatment are designed to help the non-holistic side of the treatment plan identify the factors that contribute to an individual patient’s addiction. These aspects include:

  • Environmental, familial, and social influences
  • Physical symptoms and side effects of the substance addiction
  • Physical and psychological symptoms and side effects of withdrawal
  • Signs of impaired emotional health that may have led to substance abuse
  • Any other unhealthy habits that might result in a neurochemical imbalance

Some centers will claim that holistics are the best method of treating addiction and can guarantee a long-lasting recovery on their own. Still, the vast majority of certified medical professionals will agree that holistic therapies are best used in combination with other evidence-based treatment models. Holistics may be effective, but they yield the best results when used alongside counseling, coping skills development training, and relapse prevention planning.

Separately, holistic and non-holistic models might not be successful. Together, both forms of addiction therapy can set any patient on the right path.

Holistics in The Treatment Center Outpatient Services

If you are having trouble quitting drugs or alcohol even though you have the drive to do it, you may be struggling with an addiction. At the Treatment Center’s Outpatient Center, our staff of seasoned medical and healthcare professionals can help you build an individualized treatment plan to start you on your road to recovery. If you are interested in the holistic model of treatment or would like more information about it, please call us at (844)211-7944. All calls are confidential.