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Alternative Treatment


Drug and alcohol addiction can be tackled in several different ways. Some treatment programs work to treat the physical aspects of addiction, while others deal with the emotional and spiritual parts. Alternative treatment includes all non-conventional programs implemented during rehab and aftercare. Examples of these treatment programs include art therapy, music therapy, equine therapy, acupuncture, mindfulness and meditation, restorative yoga and many others. While most detox and rehab regimes are based on pharmacotherapeutic or psychotherapeutic principles, alternative treatment programs are now becoming more available in Hawaii and across the United States as well. If you know of someone who could benefit from having access to alternative treatment, it is important to contact a professional treatment center in Hawaii as soon as possible.

The Treatment Process

Conventional drug and alcohol treatment programs are typically conducted in a sequential fashion, with detox being followed by rehab and aftercare. Detox deals with drug discontinuation and withdrawal management, rehab addresses the psychological aspects of addiction, and aftercare promotes long-term recovery and relapse prevention. Most addiction treatment programs are initiated during rehab, with some treatments applied for the first time during aftercare. Rehab programs are based on medical or psychotherapeutic principles, and the substance and extent of the addiction greatly influences the type and level of treatment provided. Common medication programs include opiate replacement therapy, benzodiazepine therapy, and naltrexone therapy. Common psychotherapy programs include family therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, 12-step facilitation, group counseling, and moral reconation therapy.

Creative Therapies

Alternative treatment programs are often based on creative principles, including art therapy, drama therapy, and music therapy. These programs use the creative process itself as a therapeutic act, and recovering addicts are helped through the use of art, drama, and music as a way to communicate their thoughts and feelings. Creative therapies are increasingly available in Hawaii and across the United States, both through commercial addiction treatment centers and independent practitioners. Creative therapies are normally designed to complement conventional rehab programs, and similar cognitive, behavioral, and motivational methods are used to recognize internal distortions and alter problematic behavior patterns.

Physical Therapies

A number of non-conventional physical therapies have become more widely available in recent years, including restorative yoga, equine therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, and personal training. These addiction treatment programs help people to overcome their addiction issues by working with physical and biological systems, often in conjunction with conventional behavioral therapy and medication treatment. More rehab centers are beginning to implement physical therapy all the time, and physical programs are also available from independent operators and non-profit community organizations. People who engage in physical therapy programs are more likely to overcome their addiction issues, especially when these programs are available after rehab.

Spiritual Therapies

Spiritual and religious treatment programs are available across the United States, including mindfulness and meditation programs, 12-step support groups, and Christian-based counseling. While most rehab programs operate with a secular and scientific framework, spiritual rehabilitation is a growing industry in America. Conventional 12-step support groups have a strong spiritual-religious bias, and recovering addicts will need to admit to having a lack of control over their addiction and recognize a higher power in order to help them overcome their addiction issues. The 12-step approach has become a dominant force in the rehabilitation industry, as alternative approaches such as SMART Recovery are developing, especially to provide a secular alternative. If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction and would like more information about the benefits of alternative treatment, dial an addiction specialist today.