Alternative Drug Treatment

Alternative Drug Treatment

Addiction comes in many shapes. Drug addiction and alcoholism are probably the first ones that pop into our mind when thinking about addictions but it also seems like any word in the dictionary can receive the ‘aholic’ termination in order to describe a person’s dependence on getting anything in between chocolate, shopping, and computer games.


For alcohol, AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) has become like an international trademark for addiction treatment. However, science and practice tend to have different views on the effectiveness of AA treatment and other 12-step approaches for addiction recovery. In the same time, a set of alternative treatment options – also referred to as non 12-step addiction treatment options – also become more and more popular these days and most of them tend to employ a more holistic approach. For instance, some of the alternative holistic treatments employ yoga or mediation. Another popular recent approach concentrates on the effects of diet and nutrition and the success rates of using those as part of an alcoholism treatment. Some addictions use an indirect approach of providing a well-balanced nutrition and increasing the strength of the patient with vitamins and minerals.


Addiction rehab centers know that AA might be effective in practice but they also know that there are other methods that might be more effective – ranging from medications, to motivation based approaches such as rewarding non-drinking or non-consumption behaviors or even using aversive conditioning in order to instill repugnance to one’s object of an addiction. An increased importance is given today to treating addictions in rehab centers with a patient centered approach, having the person first convinced of the benefits of being treated and then identifying together with the specialized personnel what are the approaches that best suit patient’s needs. These centers offer an entire list of 12-step addiction recovery approaches and non 12-step addictions recovery approaches in the same time.


Another important factor to consider is that employing a non 12-step approach not only opens the door to treatment opportunities one might fail to consider when looking only at AA and similar 12-step approaches; it also gives people more choices in terms of selecting the method that best fits their beliefs and values system, even in the case in which they don’t believe in a higher power force, which is generally part of the 12-step approach. Other benefits of considering non 12-step addiction recovery solutions come from the fact that these other options can ensure more privacy for patients, allow them to get treated on a one-on-one basis rather than by attending group meetings. One might not want or like to attend those AA-type meetings or one might simply not have a flexible schedule to dedicate specific meeting times to that. In any of these cases, there are plenty of non 12-step solutions that address such specific needs.


Moreover, the level of specialization of these alternative methods has reached a stage at which some of them are designed particularly for certain social groups such a women oriented programs or programs designed for people with type of sexual orientation.


No matter how small or large is the population targeted by a treatment, the bottom line is that one should be aware of all the treatment options and actively involved in deciding which one could bring the best results.

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