For decades, professional addiction treatment services (such as those offered in traditional inpatient and outpatient programs) have been highly effective for those looking to recover from an active substance use disorder. These services, including evidence-based treatments and therapies, are still just as effective today and continue to help save the lives of countless individuals. But for some people, traditional addiction treatment is either not enough for them or does not provide as much of a benefit as they thought it might. Luckily, there are several different types of alternative addiction treatment options that can make as strong of an impact on a person as traditional treatment can.
Types of Alternative Addiction Treatment
While people who struggle with substance use disorders share several similarities in their experiences, not everyone recovers the same way. Alternative addiction treatment gives addicted individuals the opportunity to heal in non-traditional, but yet still effective ways. Some of the most revered alternative addiction treatments used today include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Equine therapy – Equine therapy brings patients and horses together in a therapeutic setting to encourage deep healing and self realization. Horses have long been revered as “therapists” as they naturally feed off the energy of others and maintain a safe, non-judgmental space. In an equine therapy session, patients will do groundwork with a horse to help address the issues related to their substance use disorder, such as trauma, problems with trust, and lack of self-confidence.
- Art therapy – Painting, drawing, sketching, crafting, and even coloring are what make up art therapy for those in need of addiction treatment. Art therapy is offered as a supplement to one’s treatment plan and is designed to help motivate self-expression and self-exploration.
- Mindfulness therapy – The art of being mindful is something that takes a great deal of practice and perseverance. People who utilize mindfulness therapy work to keep their minds focused on the present moment as opposed to the past or the future, as well as develop skills that help them maintain clarity and peace of mind.
- Psychodrama – Psychodrama is a type of alternative therapy that gets patients engaged in acting out specific experiences in their lives that have contributed to their substance use disorder. It can be done one-on-one with a therapist or in a group setting. The overarching goal of psychodrama is to try to help heal an upsetting or traumatic experience in one’s life by recreating it and pulling from it a realistic conclusion.
- Biofeedback – Emotional regulation tends to be a commonly shared challenge among recovering addicts and alcoholics. Learning how to regulate one’s emotions can be extremely difficult, especially if a person has never focused on doing so before. Biofeedback allows patients to visibly see how their bodies react to certain topics or experiences. This is done by connecting a person to a machine where they can monitor their own heart rate and muscle tension, among other things.
These are just some of the many alternative addiction treatment options available for people in need of recovery. Each one of these treatments possesses its own unique set of benefits that a person can gain if they put in the work.
Benefits of Alternative Addiction Treatment
Arguably the greatest benefit of addiction treatment is that patients are able to focus on the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of their life and character. Alternative treatments are comprehensive in this way, leaving no stone left unturned. But this complete handling of the disease of addiction is not the only benefit that alternative addiction can provide.
Less intimidating form of addiction treatment
Many people shy away from traditional therapeutic settings such as office buildings or residence halls. They may be timid about sitting in a room with a group of peers or one-on-one with a therapist, preventing them from getting the most out of their recovery as possible. Alternative addiction treatment tends to make patients feel the opposite of intimidating, as the environments in these settings are more relaxed and informal. The more comfortable a person feels, the more internal work they can accomplish.
It is not uncommon for people to get sober and grapple with not really knowing much about themselves. Alternative therapies like equine therapy and mindfulness therapy are highly effective in helping patients develop their self-awareness, as both therapies require patients to get in touch with themselves mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. For example, horses are known for mimicking the energy of the person they are around, as they are natural herd animals. Therefore, if a patient is angry, chances are their horse will act angry, too. And since no one wants to be around an angry horse, it is up to the patient to be aware of themselves in ways that allow them the flexibility to change their perspective, and in turn, their mood.
Alternative therapies like mindfulness and biofeedback work to help patients unlock their own internal abilities to control their behavior, mood, and actions, as well as heal themselves and learn how to handle unrest when it occurs. Going through the process of these alternative therapies, patients begin to harness their minds and bodies in ways that allow them to need very little but just themselves to help them remain in recovery. As these skills develop, confidence develops, too, as patients are seeing the power they have in their own abilities.
Improves mental and physical health
There is no doubt that any and all forms of addiction treatment strengthen a person’s mental and physical health. Alternative treatments, however, are especially helpful in these areas because there is such a strong focus on all areas of one’s being. For example, mindfulness can help a person learn how to alter their destructive thinking patterns, which in turn will help keep them from engaging in destructive behaviors that could threaten their mental and physical health. Developing self-awareness, coping skills, and perseverance through equine therapy can help patients grow in ways that eliminate unnecessary drama in their lives. When there is little to no drama in one’s life, the physical health of the body can improve as a person is more likely to sleep well, focus on maintaining a good diet, and exercising (to name a few).
Are You Looking For Alternative Addiction Treatment? Call Us Right Now.
No matter what your preference is, there is addiction treatment available that can help you put a stop to your active addiction for good. If you are ready to make a life-saving change in your life, call us right now. We will be by your side the whole way through.