Effective Alcohol Addiction Treatments Should Be Holistic

Effective Alcohol Addiction Treatments Should Be Holistic


Some of the best alcohol addiction treatments are not what you would expect at all.  In fact, the most reputable and leading form of treatment in the industry is almost always a 12 step based program, which does not produce a very stellar rate of success.  The fact is that this is a very difficult population of people to work with, in that addiction is just very hard to overcome.  It takes time, effort, strong commitment from the individual, and a lot of resources.  To say that recovery is easy or that any alcoholic should be able to sober up with no problem is just not that realistic.

Therefore one of the more interesting forms of rehab is holistic addiction treatment.  This is where, instead of focusing on group therapy, spiritual growth, and 12 step meetings, the clients would instead by focusing on personal growth, holistic health and well being, and a whole other host of recovery strategies that can come together to make for a strong recovery.

one jug of wine
Creative Commons License photo credit: timsnell

Holistic refers to “treating the whole person,” not just their spiritual malady.  Traditional recovery programs typically seek to treat only the spiritual aspect of addiction, but this leaves out quite a bit of the real life process.  Addiction affected us in many ways, much more than just spiritually.  In fact, alcoholism affects our social life, our nutrition, our emotional balance, our fitness level, and so on.  We may pick up other habits such as smoking.  And we may be covering up side issues that are unresolved, using substance abuse as a mask for deeper problems.  All of this needs to be addressed in recovery.  Addiction is holistic–it affects the whole person.  Recovery should do the same thing.  When you focus on an holistic approach to recovery rather than a spiritual approach, you:

* Broaden your horizons in that you are willing to seek growth in other areas of your life, and find new enriching experiences.

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* Protect your recovery from complacency by always having new areas of your life in which you can push yourself to learn and to grow.

* Benefit your health and personal development in new ways, such as better health through exercise or improved nutrition.

I knew a man in recovery once who was working a very traditional program of recovery.  He was not using a holistic approach and wanted no part in it.  He went to meetings and ignored fitness, nutrition, and bad habits such as smoking.  You can guess what the moral of this story is….things went badly for his health and he passed away.  A more holistic approach might have prevented this from happening, while strengthening recovery too.

There are added benefits to an holistic treatment of addiction.  You tend to be healthier and take better care of yourself overall.  This increases your self esteem in a very natural and real way, not artificially like some other approaches.  Thus, using a holistic approach is a way to strengthen your recovery in the long run.

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