When you’re searching for a drug treatment facility, you might find that some are holistic in their orientation. You’ll find that these facilities don’t just take into account your need for drug detox and substance abuse treatment; they’re also addressing your emotional, social, and spiritual needs.
In your search, you might find that addiction treatment centers emphasize a certain focus. For instance, some drug addiction treatment centers are Christian-based, for females only, oriented toward adolescents, or only address alcohol detox and addiction. At the same time, there are some that focus strictly on providing holistic care.
According to The Free Dictionary holistic care is: “a system of comprehensive or total patient care that considers the physical, emotional, social, economic, and spiritual needs of the person; his or her response to illness; and the effect of the illness on the ability to meet self-care needs.” Despite this definition, what does holistic mean in practice? It’s easy to understand this in theory, but what does a holistic setting actually feel like?
According to Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale Prevention Research Center, and author of the article Holistic Medicine: How To Define It, holistic care becomes most important when it’s the hardest to do. It’s easy to apply holistic care when someone has a broken leg. However, applying it to drug detox and addiction, particularly if there are other presenting issues such as mental illness, chronic relapse, or multiple addictions, can be difficult. Dr. Katz also points out that when it is the most difficult, it is often the most necessary.
Essentially, holistic care takes into about the whole person. It not only considers the physiological and physical aspects of the addiction, but also the emotional, psychological, and spiritual facets to the addiction. In order to address all the aspects of the recovery process – physical, physiological, emotional, psychological, and spiritual – a holistic drug treatment center might include much more than drug counseling, therapy, family therapy, support groups, and life skill groups. To address other aspects of an individual’s growth, a holistic drug treatment center might also include:
- Nutrition Counseling
- Equine Therapy
- Craniosacral Therapy
- Sweat Lodges
- Adventure Therapy
- Organic Food Choices
- Physical Exercise
- Sauna Use
- Spiritual Exploration and Study
In fact, according to Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), holistic care is one of the principles of effective drug addiction treatment:
Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug abuse. To be effective, drug treatment must address the individual’s drug abuse and any associated medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal problems. It is also important that treatment be appropriate to the individual’s age, gender, ethnicity, and culture.
It’s clear that treatment that is effective will address not just the addiction alone. For treatment to be effective, it must address the medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal issues of an adolescent. Treatment must be holistic.
There are many forms of alternative therapies that are becoming more and more popular because of their healing capabilities as well as the holistic philosophies behind them. Some not listed here include therapies that use expressive arts, drama, music, dance, poetry, and yoga. Still other forms include meditation, acupuncture, and neuro-feedback.
These various healing methods are meant to facilitate deeper insight into the choices recovering addicts are making for their life. They are meant to encourage connection with a core self. Of course, these activities help to promote physical well-being, a healthy self-image, productive coping mechanisms, and psychological health. When these are combined with the traditional methods of treatment for addiction, they can create lasting change. Ideally, a holistic drug treatment center can help individuals continue with a life of sobriety long after treatment and, more importantly, facilitate living a life that is successful, joyful, and fulfilling.
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