Alternative treatments for addictions

Alternative treatments for addictions

An estimated 18 million Americans are affected by some type of substance abuse or addiction, including alcohol, drugs, and gambling. Despite advances in clinical science and psychiatry, often treatments for addiction can become a sort of ‘one size fits all’ approach. What works for one person may not benefit another. Thankfully, there are alternative treatments for addiction that offer a more holistic approach to managing and ultimately, overcoming addiction.

Alternative treatments for addictions are varied and draw on different modalities from nutrition, physical exercise and spirituality to traditional forms of medicine and psychology. While conventional treatments help individuals manage the craving and physical withdrawal associated with substance abuse and addictive behavior, alternative treatment provides a more holistic view to recovery, helping individuals heal from all aspects of the disorder.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a form of meditation that encourages practitioners to become more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and emotions in the present moment. Regular practice of this technique has been shown to reduce stress levels and stabilize moods, providing an important foundation for those in recovery from addiction. Practicing mindfulness meditation can provide a sense of calm, peace, and balance, giving a clear perspective on how an individual’s outlook on life has grown to be less than ideal.

Yoga and Exercise

Yoga and exercise can be a powerful tool in recovery. Not only does it reduce stress levels, but it helps to build physical health and mental toughness, both of which are necessary to maintain sobriety. Exercise also releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones that reduce pain and have a positive effect on mood. Yoga practice also helps to develop self-awareness and insight and can lead to valuable life realizations.

Art Therapy

Art therapy is a form of therapy that uses art materials and creative processes to help individuals explore their emotions and gain insight into unconscious patterns of behavior. Through creating pieces of art, individuals can explore issues such as feelings of shame or guilt, hope, longing, sorrow, and sense of risk. By giving individuals a visual medium to express inner emotions, art therapy can increase self-understanding and insight.

Spiritual Guidance

Organized religion is not the only way to practice spirituality. Spirituality is a personal journey that can look different for each individual; it may embrace teachings from religions, spiritual practices, or even just values that the client holds dear. Over time, individuals can find solace and meaning which can lead to a more purposeful life. Having a spiritual base not only helps individuals struggling with addiction, but provides the support structure and connection to a higher power that can also be invaluable in times of struggle.


Eating a nutritious diet is not just important for physical health, but mental health as well. A balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats helps to provide the body the essential nutrients needed to think more clearly and stay balanced. Proper nutrition can help to reduce cravings and provide more energy for more beneficial activities, both of which are essential for people in recovery.

Alternative treatment for addiction is becoming increasingly popular, and it’s easy to see why. Instead of just trying to manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms, alternative treatments look at all aspects of the addicted individual and can provide a comprehensive, holistic view of recovery. By looking beyond just the physical symptoms of addiction, alternative treatments can provide an individualized approach to healing and support.

Leave a Reply