Addiction is a disease that impacts more than 21 million Americans each and every day. Arguably the most difficult aspect of addiction is getting someone the help they need to overcome their challenges with this disease. Residential treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, and outpatient treatment are the most common go-to’s for someone who needs professional care. However, not everyone can (or wants) to obtain addiction treatment through those means. Thankfully, there are several alternative rehab options, including 12-Step programming, individual therapy, and holistic healing techniques.

Alternative Rehab Options

12-Step Programming

For nearly 100 years, addicts and alcoholics have been turning to the 12-Steps to help put an end to their active addiction and encourage them to maintain recovery. While the 12-Steps are utilized in all different levels of addiction treatment, they are rooted in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings where they first began. 

The 12-Steps are a set of guiding principles that are designed to bring about a spiritual awakening. That does not mean that AA and NA meetings are denominational because, in reality, they are far from it. Members of AA and NA are instructed to develop their own personal higher power, whatever that may be. For some, their higher power is a religious figure like Jesus or God, but for others, it might be the universe, love, or any other secular thing, being, or idea. Through the inclusion of a higher power into their step work, those participating in 12-Step programming can develop sobriety and several other accomplishments, including the following:

  • Admitting they are powerless over drugs and/or alcohol
  • Making a fearless moral inventory of oneself
  • Identifying who they have harmed and making amends to them
  • Continuing to conduct moral inventories and admitting when they are wrong
  • Believing that a higher power can restore sanity
  • Carrying the message of the 12-Steps to others in recovery

Some people work the 12-Steps until they have achieved a spiritual awakening and then casually go to meetings here and there. Others utilize 12-Step meetings through AA or NA on a regular (sometimes daily) basis for the remainder of their lives. It is highly recommended to get a sponsor when working on the steps. A sponsor is someone who is in recovery and is experienced enough with the steps to help guide you through them. A sponsor is also someone who you can lean on during difficult times and turn to when you need support or advice.

If you are looking for an alternative rehab option, committing yourself to the 12 Steps and attending meetings can be an excellent way to obtain recovery and learn how to maintain it. 

Individual Therapy

Working one-on-one with a licensed therapist is a common alternative option for drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Depending on the severity of one’s substance use disorder, individual therapy sessions can occur several times a week, once a week, or a few times per month to help individuals identify and address the underlying causes of their addiction. 

If you decide to work with a therapist to address your treatment needs, you will obtain the following services that will help you develop a strong footing in recovery:

  • Medication – Roughly half of all people with a substance use disorder also have a mental illness that is occurring simultaneously. When seeing a therapist, they can help diagnose any mental illness that you may have or pinpoint specific mood or behavioral challenges you are struggling with so that they can prescribe medication that can help mitigate your symptoms. Medication is not a magic bullet, as it does not fix the issues that you face. It does, however, reduce the intensity of symptoms. When symptoms are reduced, you are given the opportunity to focus on developing proper coping skills that, when paired with your medication, will keep you from relapsing. 
  • Behavioral therapy – Addiction is a disease that affects your brain in ways that compromise your behavioral skills. Nearly everyone who seeks treatment for a substance use disorder receives some form of behavioral therapy to help manage those challenges caused by the disease. A therapist can offer behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy, along with many others that can help you modify your behaviors to support a life of recovery. 
  • Trauma therapy – It is extremely common for people struggling with addiction to have a history of trauma. When there is no healing process following one or more traumatic events, it can leave people susceptible to experimenting with drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication. If you are one of the many people who have utilized drugs or alcohol to cope with trauma, your therapist can help by providing therapeutic treatments such as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), psychodynamic therapy, and even hypnotherapy. These therapies help alleviate the emotional and psychological challenges that keep you turning to drugs or alcohol to cope.

Individual therapy can be highly effective on its own, however, when paired with regular 12-Step meetings or other alternative rehab options, the benefits obtained through it can be enhanced. 

Holistic Treatment

Holistic healing focuses on treating the person on the whole. This means that the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical aspects of a person are addressed. If you are looking for an alternative to traditional treatment, holistic therapy might just be for you. Some of the alternative rehab options that fall under the holistic treatment umbrella include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Meditation – Meditation allows for clarity of mind and inner peace by eliminating negative influences. Deep breathing, practicing mindfulness, and focusing on a positive mantra will help you realign your physical and spiritual wellbeing. 
  • Yoga – Yoga not only offers an opportunity to engage in healthy physical activity, but it also helps participants to work on their spirituality. When recovering from addiction, learning how to center yourself, focus, develop calmness, and improve your mental strength is vital in maintaining your sobriety. 
  • Diet – Certain foods interact with the brain and the body in different ways. That is why it is important to maintain a healthy diet. Not only will doing so keep you healthy physically, but eating the right foods and steering clear of non-nutritional foods can help balance your mood, energy, and overall cognition. 
  • Supplements – All-natural supplements, such as certain vitamins and minerals, can do wonders for your mind and body. If you are apprehensive to take prescription medications but recognize that you can benefit from some form of medication, looking into supplements can be highly rewarding. When determining which supplements to use, always ensure you speak with your PCP or another healthcare provider to ensure your safety. 

These are only some alternative rehab options for drug and alcohol addiction, however, they are highly effective for recovering users. Having options such as these is critical, as many people who need addiction treatment are unable to obtain it through traditional courses such as residential treatment. Factors such as employment and finances may stand in the way of receiving that level of care, but that does not mean that there aren’t other effective options. 

Learn More About Your Alternative Rehab Options

If you are ready to get the help you need to stop using and start living a life of recovery, then it’s time to ask for help. Do not hesitate. We can help you find the right type of addiction treatment for you so that you can break free from the confines of this disease. Contact us today to learn more about our alternative rehab options for drug and alcohol addiction.

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    Tyler Buckingham
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