Addiction treatment programs offer many different forms of therapies. One of the methods that addiction treatment programs utilize to treat the whole person and to individualize care is by providing alternative therapies for addiction treatment. Widely used in many treatment centers, alternative therapies provide many benefits.
The Benefits of Alternative Therapies for Addiction Treatment
Art Therapy Can Treat Trauma
Art therapy can help you express yourself using your creativity. Art therapy is especially useful when you’ve experienced trauma that’s difficult to talk about, giving you the means to express complex emotions without using words.1 Painting, sculpting, drawing and coloring are the creative outlets most utilized as alternative therapies for addiction treatment.
Mindfulness Meditation Helps Reduce Cravings, Increase Abstinence and Alleviate Emotional Distress
Stress increases the likelihood of relapse, so treatment programs teach mindfulness meditation as a stress management technique. Mindfulness meditation helps you learn to control your stress levels by focusing on clearing the mind and staying in the present moment.
Meditation also encourages awareness of thoughts and feelings. It emphasizes the understanding that, even though some thoughts and feelings are unpleasant, they will pass, and feeling upset isn’t permanent.
Learning stress management and emotional awareness skills as part of alternative therapies for addiction treatment helps you fight cravings and stay sober and relaxed.
Music Therapy Helps Increase Happiness and Relaxation
A recent study found that people in recovery reported that music increased their levels of happiness.1 As part of alternative therapies for addiction treatment programs, when individuals with substance abuse disorders created music with a group through songwriting and analyzing lyrics, these activities were shown to foster positive emotional changes. Drumming has also shown positive results as a relaxation technique.
Dance Therapy Improves Strength and Alleviates Depression
Dance therapy is a useful component of addiction treatment in a number of ways. Movement to music is associated with a decrease in anxiety, anger, depression and stress.
Dance therapy uses movement to help the group and the treatment staff work with nonverbal communication and invigorating exercise to connect the people in the group, which encourages imagination and creativity to draw out emotions.
Dance therapy is also effective in increasing self-esteem by improving a person’s relationship with their own body, strengthening participants’ efforts to overcome their struggles with addiction.2
Acupuncture Helps with Withdrawal, Abstinence and Mental Health Disorders
Acupuncture is a traditional form of Chinese medicine used to treat many different physical and mental health problems. Acupuncture is a safe method of alternative therapy that has only mild possible side effects, such as bruising or pain at the needle insertion site.
One study showed that acupuncture helped treat depression, and another study showed it’s an effective way to treat mood disorders.3 Yet another study reported that acupuncture helps ease the symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal, and it increases abstinence.4
Consider alternatives therapies for addiction treatment when you’re evaluating your rehabilitation options. They are all safe, medication-free and effective ways to help you in your recovery journey.