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Alternative Drug And Alcohol Treatment

Individual differences can make treating substance abuse and addiction challenging. While many rehabs offer a traditional 12-step approach, alternative drug and alcohol treatment options are becoming more and more available as research has started supporting their effectiveness.

Alternative Drug And Alcohol Treatment

Alternative drug and alcohol abuse treatment facilities offer individualized rehab for those seeking a different experience than that of a traditional 12-step program. Sometimes, a faith-based intervention is not ideal for a person based on personal experiences and preferences.

As substance abuse research evolves, it’s become clear that treating substance abuse and addiction should not have a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Things like underlying worries, dependence, lifestyle, background, substance abuse history, genetics, environment, mental health, and specific substances abused can all affect the nature of addiction.

Alternative rehab centers treat more than just substance abuse, they look at how addiction affects the person as a whole. Providing holistic care for the person, as well as education, counseling services, and vocational options to residents seeking sobriety.

Alternative Rehab Options

When the traditional methods of drug rehab do not line up with individual needs, an alternative drug abuse and addiction treatment facility can often provide these alternatives, with their benefits:

  • meditation/mindfulness – calm the mind, allow for refocusing, and acknowledgment
  • Reiki – relaxation, health and spiritual benefit
  • nutrition/supplement – return necessary minerals and vitamins to the body, relieving symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other imbalances related to addiction
  • massage – helps alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health symptoms
  • yoga – reinforce inner strength and gain a positive outlook
  • neurofeedback – by working with electrodes and visibly interacting with brain waves, individuals can alter responses and decrease symptoms associated with addiction, depression, anxiety, and other disorders
  • aromatherapy – assists in the exploration of emotional and psychological strain that may be the root causes of substance abuse and addiction
  • chanting – provides inner dialog and exploration of spirituality
  • acupuncture – may affect physiological activities related to substance abuse

Alternative drug and alcohol rehab programs tend to encourage empowerment, growth, and change within the individual seeking treatment. This allows them to regain control of their lives, and focus on the person they are striving to become.

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Alternative Drug Rehab By Demographic

While alternative drug rehab facilities understand the importance of individualized treatment, they also recognize the need for specialized accommodations for specific demographics of people.

Alternative drug rehabs that cater to these specific groups offer benefits to substance abuse treatment that traditional rehabs often cannot. Some of these examples include:

Women’s Only Drug Rehab

A women’s only substance abuse treatment facility understands the unique circumstances of women who are struggling with addiction. Often times, these women have experienced trauma or abuse at the hands of men, and it can significantly affect substance abuse treatment results.

Co-ed groups have less female participation. Women may feel uncomfortable, scared, or intimidated by the presence of men in a therapeutic setting. Research shows that women’s only treatment facilities have higher success rates, and women attain sobriety at a faster rate than women who participate in a co-ed drug rehab program.

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Men’s Only Substance Abuse Treatment

Conversely, men also appear to benefit from a gender-specific substance abuse treatment option. Many attribute this to similar circumstances as women. The men may feel uncomfortable disclosing any sign of weakness or inability to control their substance abuse.

A men’s only drug rehab also allows residents to focus on treatment, without any other distractions that could come from a co-ed drug and alcohol abuse treatment program. The ability to concentrate on the unique needs of men in these situations positively affects treatment outcomes.

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Wilderness Drug Rehabilitation

A more recent type of substance abuse treatment that has been gaining popularity is a form of wilderness rehab. Residents participate in outdoor activities as part of the therapeutic intervention at these locations.

Wilderness rehabs excursions typically consist of group activities that result in team building, social skill development, problem-solving, and self-esteem building in a structured outdoor setting.

In addition, the connection that clients build with nature is an asset that is not easily acquired in any other substance abuse treatment setting. There are health benefits, mental health benefits, and overall emotional wellness that can occur as a result of spending time in nature.

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LGBTQ+ Rehab Programs

Offering appropriate care in a setting that considers the individual needs of members of the LGBTQ+ community can increase the success rates of these individuals. It sometimes is not enough to simply include individuals in traditional substance abuse treatment programs.

There is an internal discomfort in settings where an individual isn’t sure they will be accepted for being themselves. This can affect participation, disclosure, anxiety, feeling safe, and comfort levels in treatment. If treatment isn’t effective, recovery can be jeopardized.

Providing sensitivity training to staff, and educating to the needs of this demographic can have a positive effect on outcomes at an LGBTQ+ substance abuse treatment program.

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Rapid Detox

This alternative to traditional substance abuse treatment does not include any kind of addiction counseling but instead offers quick detoxification to individuals who want to avoid or decrease symptoms of withdrawal. However, rapid detox is not a miracle cure for addiction and should not be treated as such.

Rapid detox can cost upwards of $20,000 and takes a day or two to complete. Primarily used to clear opioids out of the body, a person is sedated with anesthesia, and medications are delivered into the bloodstream with an IV to push opioids out of the body.

Research has shown that this is not an effective method for sustained recovery, and it is not recommended by medical professionals as a form of substance abuse treatment. It is also not considered as a constructive form of detox.

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Additional Alternative Drug Rehab Options

With new treatment methods being researched constantly, the addiction treatment options are always evolving. There are many additional options currently being explored that include using biophysical treatment, psychedelic substances to change addictive tendencies, new medications to treat addiction and withdrawal, and many many others.

It is important to understand that unless these methods are proven to be effective, and approved as addiction treatment options, they should not be used to treat substance abuse. The methods currently used by substance abuse treatment centers are considered the standard of care.

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How To Find Alternative Drug And Alcohol Rehab Centers

There are literally hundreds of substance abuse treatment programs out there. For a person with unique circumstances, trying to find the best treatment option can seem overwhelming. We are here to make that process significantly easier on you or your loved ones.

Our staff is equipped with the ability to help find a facility that provides substance abuse treatment that best meets the needs of your or your loved one. Contact us today so we can help find a treatment program as unique as you are.

National Institute on Drug Abuse -

Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews -

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration -

Current Drug Abuse Reviews -

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