Alternative Treatment for Addiction Recovery: Is It for You?

There is no single cure-all method for treating addiction. Instead, therapists and treatment facilities offer a variety of therapies, which often include both traditional and alternative recovery methods. Though some people are skeptical of certain supplemental therapies, sometimes, having an extra layer of security can encourage long-term change. Experts suggest that adding alternative recovery methods may improve sobriety results. Read on to find out if an alternative treatment is right for you.


What Are Alternative Treatments for Addiction?

According to The Fix, alternative recovery methods are those that take a holistic approach to healing. They include therapies like acupuncture, neurofeedback, yoga, hypnotherapy, meditation, biochemical restoration, pet therapy, horticulture therapy, and art-based therapy. These complementary therapies often address the brain chemistry changes involved in addiction, attributing addiction to biochemical imbalances in the brain. They can also focus on freeing the mind and training the body to relax naturally. Alternative treatments are typically used in combination with traditional addiction therapy to boost its efficacy.


When to Seek Alternative Recovery Methods

If you’ve relapsed after trying traditional treatment methods before, it may be time to seek out alternative treatment to help guide you on your journey. Psychology Today suggests that alternative therapies can make people more receptive to conventional treatments. For example, using art or music to express your feelings may help you come to terms with the initial cause of your drug or alcohol use.

Remember, fully participating in treatment is necessary for success. If you find yourself struggling to manage your addiction through one method, supplementing your recovery can keep you on track. By combining both traditional treatment and those that focus on holistic healing, you give yourself the best of both worlds.


When to Avoid Alternative Addiction Treatment

Research has found that recovery programs are most effective when patients have a high satisfaction with their treatment. Often, people are too skeptical of the efficacy of certain holistic approaches to get any benefit from them. If you can’t get fully engaged in alternative recovery methods, it may be best to stick to conventional programs.

It’s also important to consider cost before jumping into alternative treatment since these recovery methods can be expensive. Longer duration treatments increase efficacy, and quitting halfway through your program will put you at risk of relapse. Alternative treatment might just not fit into your budget.

Finally, if you’re intent on tackling addiction yourself with natural methods, be aware of withdrawal symptoms. Some drugs can be dangerous to stop cold turkey, so you may need to enroll in a medical detox program for your own safety.


How Diet and Exercise Facilitate Addiction Recovery

One newer type of alternative treatment is called biochemical restoration. This aims to replenish and balance biochemicals in the body through nutrition plans, supplements, physical activity, and relaxation. In fact, diet and exercise are important supplements to any addiction recovery program.

Many addicts suffer from malnutrition which can cause liver disease, brain damage, pancreatitis, and complications in pregnancy. Adopting a healthy, balanced diet will help rebuild your body through recovery. Plus, getting all your required nutrients will lessen drug withdrawal symptoms. Everyone in addiction recovery can benefit from a fitness routine as well. Exercising on a regular basis reduces stress and boredom, both of which are common triggers for relapse. Plus, physical activity causes the body to produce endorphins. These reduce feelings of pain and mimic the euphoric feelings of certain drugs. Simple cardio exercises like walking, jogging, or bicycling are great for anyone in addiction recovery.

Addiction recovery shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all treatment process. Individual needs differ depending on factors including personalities and values. For many people, alternative recovery methods can be a valuable addition to their addiction treatment. Others may prefer to stick to conventional therapies. Either way, the best results will come from treatment that is designed and catered to you and your needs.

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Am I An Alcoholic?

If you’ve been abusing alcohol on a regular basis and are wondering “am I an alcoholic?” there are numerous signs of alcoholism that can help you answer this question. Alcoholism is a dangerous disease that needs to be treated quickly so as to mitigate the damage caused by the condition. It can sometimes be difficult to notice that you or someone you love has become an alcoholic. This is why it’s important to focus on identifying whether or not you or the individual close to you has become dependent on alcohol.


Signs of Alcoholism

To recognize the signs of alcoholism, you should first be aware of the difference between alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Alcohol abuse occurs when you are drinking too much alcohol on a regular basis. If you continue to abuse alcohol, the problem may turn into alcoholism, which is a type of chronic disease where the primary treatment is learning how to manage the symptoms that come along with the condition.

There are a vast array of different signs of alcohol addiction that can help you identify whether or not addiction has occurred. A few of the common signs include going through short blackouts, suffering from memory loss, experiencing extreme mood swings, and choosing to drink instead of completing everyday responsibilities.

If you have resorted to drinking alone, this could signify that you have become an alcoholic. If you find yourself making different excuses to your friends and family members about why you drink, this is a strong sign that you are starting to become dependent on alcohol. If ever you feel guilty about drinking or find that some of your friends and family are criticizing you for doing so, it’s likely that you’ve become an alcoholic and are no longer able to control how much and how often you drink.


How to Quit Drinking

When you’re thinking of how to quit drinking, the most important thing to realize is that the process of doing so can be difficult. Some days are more difficult to avoid drinking than others. Once you fully understand the difficulties that come with quitting drinking, you can be more confident that you will be able to do so. The first step towards quitting drinking is to admit that you have a problem. If you’re unable to stop drinking whenever you want to, this means that you have a problem. Focus on why you want to stop drinking, which can be anything from wanting to remain healthy to wanting to get better sleep.

With these goals in mind, you can always remind yourself of them if ever you start to slip up and pour yourself a drink. Make sure that all of your friends know that you’re not going to be drinking. In general, the first three days are going to be the most difficult when attempting to quit drinking, If you start to experience withdrawal symptoms, this likely means that you are an alcoholic and will require some form of treatment to more effectively quit drinking.


Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

When you are suffering from alcoholism, one of the best ways to manage the withdrawal symptoms that occur when you stop drinking is to be aware of the standard alcohol withdrawal timeline.

First Stage of Alcohol Withdrawal

The first stage of withdrawal will typically occur within the first eight hours after you stop drinking. This stage includes such symptoms as insomnia, nausea, anxiety, and a substantial amount of pain within your abdomen.

Second Stage of Alcohol Withdrawal

The second stage of withdrawal can last for anywhere from 1-3 days depending on the severity of your addiction. You will likely experience symptoms like higher body temperatures and high blood pressure during this stage.

Third Stage of Alcohol Withdrawal

The final stage can be one of the most difficult to handle without relapsing unless you seek treatment to help manage the withdrawal symptoms. The third stage will last upwards of 3-4 days following the conclusion of the second stage, during which you will experience such symptoms as a high fever, hallucinations, increased agitation, and severe seizures. Without treatment, all symptoms of withdrawal should start to subside after 5-8 days.


What to Expect With Outpatient Rehab

One of the most effective treatments that will assist you once you’ve admitted that you’re an alcoholic is an outpatient treatment program. This is a type of rehabilitation that takes place at an outpatient facility, which means that you can still go to work and school during treatment. Most rehab centers start with detoxification to help you manage your withdrawal symptoms.

Once detox has been completed, you will go through a number of sessions that focus on both group and individual counseling while also educating you about substance abuse. This treatment can last as long as it takes for you to learn how to cope with your alcoholism. You should expect to attend treatment sessions for anywhere from 8-12 hours each week.

If you have recognized that you are an alcoholic and are looking to obtain help for your addiction, contact Launch Centers to learn more about the outpatient care we offer.