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Alternative Treatment

What is Alternative Addiction Treatment?

In order to understand what is considered “alternative” treatment, you have to first understand what the “standard” or “mainstream” pattern of treatment is. Standard treatment will send the patient through an initial detox period of a few days to a week, then into a period of either inpatient or outpatient treatment, lasting from one to several months. During this time, the focus will be on both one-on-one mental health counseling and group counseling activities, along with therapeutic and constructive activities. The patient will also attend peer support meetings and educational sessions, and may participate in the 12 steps or a spiritual component if they choose to.

Alternative treatment keeps to this basic pattern, but can add any number of complementary activities. There are a wide range of alternative treatment methods, from equine therapy to yoga, and each is suited to different types of patients. Some of the more advanced treatment centers in Nebraska have a wide range of these activities available, and will be able to tailor them to the individual needs of the patient.

How Alternative Treatment Benefits Recovery

Holistic or naturopathic medicine are not considered substitutes for regular medical treatment, but as an added component on top of standard treatment, and have the ability to produce even greater results for many people. The concept of alternative therapies is very similar. These therapies are not intended to replace the counseling and group meetings of traditional therapy, but are meant to be an additional bonus that enhances the effect of a standard treatment program.

Alternative treatments can do wonders to increase patient engagement, especially in those who may have had one or two unsuccessful prior attempts at recovery when using standard treatment models. It also helps to break up the routine of the inpatient or outpatient treatment period.

Types of Alternative Treatment

Art and Music Therapy

Art and music therapy provide a new outlet for communication that patients may have never explored before. Sometimes, feelings that they cannot adequately put into words can be better expressed through drawing, painting, singing or playing an instrument. The patient does not necessarily have to learn a new skill to benefit from these therapies if they do not want to. Actively listening to music, or appreciating art, and then discussing it in a group also has significant therapeutic value.

Restorative Yoga

Yoga helps practitioners to focus inward and to listen to their own body while achieving a state of tranquility. Restorative yoga concentrates on basic poses that are accessible to anyone of just about any fitness level, and that promote serenity and patience. In time, the restorative yoga can help addicts to acknowledge their cravings and let them pass without acting on them.

Equine Therapy

Equine therapy involves performing basic tasks to care for a horse, such as feeding and brushing it. Through this process patients often learn how to establish trust and how to use feedback from the horse to get a better handle on their own problematic behaviors. It is not about learning to ride a horse, though that option is not entirely off the table for those who are interested. Nebraska is a good area for equine therapy, with large amounts of rural land and numerous horses available in the area.

Principles of Effective Treatment

What constitutes an effective treatment program will vary from person to person. However, nearly everyone has a positive response to at least one form of alternative therapy. When this alternative therapy is added to the solid core program of a licensed and accredited treatment center, the results can be remarkable.

If you or a loved one is suffering with an addiction, reach out to accredited treatment centers in the Nebraska area to learn more about the available alternative therapies.