Holistic Addiction Treatment - Holistic and Drug-Based Rehabilitation

Holistic and Drug-Based Rehabilitation

There are two primary schools of thought when it comes to drug rehabilitation, holistic and drug-based rehabilitation.  It could be called a holistic or natural approach. The other could be called medical or drug-based. Any inquiry into drug rehab should include examination of these two systems.

Drug-Based Rehab

Traditional medical detox does not always involve the use of drugs or medications but quite often does. The development of drugs as a substitute for other drugs is a field unto itself. The basic theory is that a substitute drug is needful to offset the withdrawal symptoms of the one the addict has been abusing. Patents for newer Holistic and Drug-Based Rehabilitationdrugs are in constant demand among researchers in this field, thus the list of such drugs is constantly expanding. A few examples: for heroin or opiate addiction, methadone (and other similar compounds) or Suboxone could be used. For alcohol dependency, Disulfiram or Acamprosate could be prescribed. Naltrexone (brand names Depade, ReVia) is also used to treat both alcohol and opiates.

Some of these drugs create an effect similar to the chemical they are intended to counter-act. Methadone is taken orally on a daily basis by heroin addicts and is listed as a Schedule II narcotic (Suboxone is also in this category – the same class as heroin). It acts on the same brain receptor as heroin, produces a “high” and a reportedly more gradual “come down” than heroin. A methadone dosage lasts about 24 hours, hence the need for daily ingestion.

In treating alcohol dependency, Disulfiram could be used. This drug is designed to create an adverse reaction; if the person does drinks alcohol, 5-10 minutes later he/she experiences severe nausea, vomiting or headache for 30 minutes or up to several hours. This method could be called “stimulus-response” such as an electric jolt for smoking tobacco. One should be aware of side effects of these drugs, which for some can include diarrhea, allergic reactions, headaches, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, and high (or low) blood pressure, as well as blurred vision, confusion or hallucination.

In this type of rehab, various forms of treatment or psychoanalysis are employed – such as behavioral or cognitive therapies – in order to get the patient to deal with the problems associated with drug abuse.

Holistic Rehab

Holistic rehabilitation is used to describe methods that do not employ other drugs. While there can be exceptions – like a mild sedative to help someone sleep – the basic holistic philosophy is that a person is much better off without any drugs in the body. The first concern in holistic rehab is to detoxify the body of drugs with minimal pain or discomfort. One principal in holistic recovery is that – among the many harmful effects drugs – the body will become depleted of essential vitamins and minerals, hence the often emaciated appearance of a long-term addict. Some of the methods that could be employed in holistic detox are controlled nutrition, vitamin and mineral supplements, massage, acupuncture, physical therapy or alternative medicine. Various forms of physical fitness could be employed, such as martial arts or yoga.

Holistic rehab will also lean towards a more spiritual or faith-based approach to recovery, utilizing such avenues as 12-step programs, prayer, meditation or pastoral counseling.

Both holistic and drug-based rehabilitation will use systems of therapy – group and individual – to help an addict deal with the problems and emotional pain inevitably connected to drug addiction and alcoholism.

What Works?

The truth of the matter is that the best drug rehabilitation system is the one that works for the individual. Relapse is a major part of the problem of addiction. Where one system did not work, it may be time to consider one’s options and try another.

One should also define what it means to say a treatment “works” for you personally. Does this mean “off one drug and on a substitute drug?” Unfortunately, the abuse of prescription drugs – substitute and otherwise – is alarmingly widespread. Prescription drug abuse is at an all-time high and some would argue is at epidemic proportions. It is way too easy to get prescription drugs. An unlocked medicine cabinet can lead to disaster for a child or teenager. Even a Vicodin prescription for a broken arm can lead to addiction. In a report by the Los Angeles Times, drugs overdoses now outnumber traffic accidents in fatalities, in large part due to abuse of prescription drugs.

Undecided on Holistic and Drug-Based Rehabilitation?

The sea of facts and opinions can be disheartening. If you have not decided what method is best for you, your next logical step is to look up various rehab centers and talk to their staff, talk to graduates and make up your own mind. You are on the right track to seek rehabilitation whether for yourself, a family member or friend. Remember, the one that works best is the one that works for the individual!

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