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ABOUT US is a not-for-profit resource for the community, connecting people to addiction treatment and education resources. You can find information on addiction and treatment as well as detailed information on treatment centers nationwide. Our main goal is to provide a comprehensive resource for individuals who are seeking treatment regardless of their situation.

Holistic Addiction Treatment

Holistic addiction treatment is a type of drug rehab that typically uses therapies that are considered to be non-traditional in the addiction recovery industry. These therapies are designed in such a way that they can treat every aspect of your health and wellness.

Today, many drug and alcohol rehab programs incorporate these holistic therapies - also known as alternative treatments - in their treatment plans. By so doing, they typically enhance the addiction recovery process for their patients. Through these approaches, the recovery programs are able to increase the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health of their patients.

Brief Definition

A holistic addiction treatment program is one that uses non-medicinal and non-traditional recovery methods to ensure that their patients are able to overcome their substance use disorders and manage any other co-occurring mental health and medical disorders that they may also be struggling with.

The goal of holistic programs is to ensure that your spirit, body, and mind are in alignment. As a result, the therapies provided will be focused on your overall health and wellness - and not just your addiction. To this end, the program can ensure that you get better while also managing the various signs and symptoms of your substance abuse, addiction, dependence, tolerance, and withdrawal.

The NCCIH - the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health - now reports that over 30 percent of all American adults use holistic medicine in one form or the other. It also reports that this trend has been expanding for several years now.

Generally, speaking, a typical holistic recovery program will use a highly integrated spiritual, mental, and physical model to treat your drug use and addiction. The techniques used are often known as complementary or alternative treatments. They are also based on practices that are derived from a cultural tradition or close to nature.

Examples of these therapies used in holistic medicine include:

  • Acupressure
  • Acupuncture
  • Animal therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Counseling
  • Guided meditation
  • Herbal medicine
  • Massage therapy
  • Meditation
  • Neurofeedback
  • Nutritional therapy
  • Other kinds of energy work
  • Proper nutrition
  • Reiki
  • Routine exercise
  • Spiritual therapy
  • Tai chi
  • Yoga

The main goal with all these therapies is that they are intended to treat you as a whole person and not just one aspect of your behavior and symptoms. You may, to this end, prefer holistic addiction treatment because research studies have shown that you can only recover if your treatment program addresses you as an entire person and not just some or most of the behavioral aspects of your substance abuse and addiction.

Who Is Holistic Treatment Best For?

NIDA - the National Institute on Drug Abuse - reports that addiction can affect various aspects of your health and wellness. It can also cause you to suffer some issues with your musculoskeletal, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems - among others.

Addiction is also classified as a condition that can change the way your brain works and looks. Apart from the physical problems associated with this condition, you may also suffer other mental health disorders. These include but are not limited to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety.

The goal of holistic addiction treatment is to address all the spiritual, emotional, medical, physical, and psychological issues linked with your substance abuse disorder. Through such treatment, you may be able to enjoy both spiritual wellness and physical health.

To this end, this type of program might be ideal if you are looking for an addiction treatment modality that can:

  • Decrease stress
  • Improve self-care
  • Reduce depression
  • Reduce tension
  • Take care of insomnia
  • Treat pain
  • Overcome your substance abuse and addiction

The AHHA - the American Holistic Health Association - also released a study showing that holistic addiction treatment can educate you and encourage you to continue participating actively in your long term recovery. In the process, you may also learn how to protect various aspects of your health and wellness.

If you believe that this type of treatment might benefit you and help you overcome your substance abuse and addiction, you should consider using it as the right way for you to recover in the long term.

Research studies have also shown that holistic addiction treatment could be the right choice for you especially if you believe that the soul, body, and mind are connected. It could also work well if you see advantages in using a natural approach to allow your body and mind to start healing from your substance abuse and addiction.

The various facets and tools used with the holistic approach to drug rehab can also be modified and adapted to fit in with your personal needs and preferences. Since this form of rehab is designed to augment other conventional addiction treatment strategies, it can provide you with the rounded program that you need. In the long term, it could also prepare you for life outside the recovery center, which also placing an emphasis on relaxation, peace, and proper nutrition.

How Long Is Holistic Treatment?

Like any other addiction treatment programs, a holistic medicine program should last a minimum of 90 days. This is according to recommendations from various research groups - such as SAMHSA - the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

If you spend less than 90 days in such a program, there is a high risk that you could suffer a relapse upon checking out of the holistic treatment center. In fact, it is recommended that you spend longer than 90 days, or as long as it take you to overcome your substance abuse and addiction.

However, holistic treatment might take longer than many other recovery programs for addiction. This is because it is often designed to deal with all the various factors that have been contributing to your substance abuse, including but not limited to:

  • Emotional imbalance that might have led to your substance abuse
  • Environmental contaminants and toxins that may have resulted in your ongoing need for addictive substances
  • Lack of proper spiritual grounding, which might have made drugs attractive to you
  • Physical symptoms of substance abuse and addiction
  • Symptoms of withdrawal
  • Unhealthy eating habits that could have resulted in the neurochemical imbalance that caused you to start abusing substances

Since all these things have to be taken care of in the course of your holistic addiction treatment, there is a high chance that the program could take longer than most traditional therapies.

The period could also end up lasting longer if the holistic program uses alternative therapies alongside conventional or traditional therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy. This is because you would need to spend more time in the treatment center to be able to benefit from all treatment types offered.

Average Cost of Holistic Treatment

Since alternative or holistic treatment uses many non-conventional practices, there is a high probability that it could end up proving to be more expensive than a traditional drug rehab program.

For instance, you may be required to receive massage therapy. If this is the case, the treatment program would have to hire professional massage therapists - and this could increase the cost of your recovery.

Further, the program might recommend proper nutrition. In such a situation, you will require specialized meal plans - and all that this entails. As a result, your overall cost of treatment would typically end up being expensive.

How Do I Go About Finding a Holistic Treatment Program?

Finding the right addiction treatment program that offers holistic recovery services can be difficult. However, you should be able to find such a center based on the following metrics:

  • If the recovery program is duly registered, licensed, and accredited
  • The ability of the center to treat other co-occurring disorders that you may also be struggling with, such as depression and anxiety
  • The cost of the treatment services that you are going to receive
  • The duration of the addiction treatment program
  • The effectiveness of the therapies and techniques used at the center
  • The location of the recovery center
  • The philosophy that is used by the treatment program
  • The relapse prevention and aftercare programs offered by the holistic center
  • The types of therapies provided
  • The various services offered at the holistic treatment center
  • Whether the staff members working at the holistic center are licensed and accredited
  • Whether the center uses a combination of alternative and traditional treatment types


It can be difficult to overcome your substance abuse and addiction. It is for this reason that you may find that you may require additional support to be able to overcome all the issues that you have been dealing with while also trying to bring about more positive changes in your life.

By getting help from a professional holistic treatment program, you may be able to achieve all your recovery goals as you continue learning how to overcome your substance use disorder and all the reasons behind it.

In the long term, it is recommended that you spend some time looking for the right holistic addiction treatment program that can help you achieve all the goals that you are looking to meet in terms of your long term recovery, sobriety, and personal health and wellness.


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