In a perfect world, every rehab would offer holistic drug treatment. What does this mean? What is holistic treatment?
“Holistic” just means that we treat the person as a whole. Instead of just treating their drug addiction in a physical sense by detoxifying them and giving them medication for it, we might also include other aspects of treatment. For example, we might treat them spiritually, mentally, socially, and emotionally as well for their addiction. If we incorporate all of these approaches then it is truly an holistic approach.
Drug addiction and alcoholism are complicated conditions. As addicts, we like to think that they are simple conditions, and therefore the solution must be very simplistic as well. This is false in my opinion. We think this way because it is nice to try and wrap the problem up in a neat little box and think that we have a shortcut, or an easy path to sobriety. It is neither simple or easy. I think recovery is both complicated and difficult to achieve.
Addiction affects the individual on so many different levels. We become psychologically dependent on the drug. It changes how we deal with our emotions, because we tend to medicate every feeling that we get that we do not like. So over time we forget how to deal with our emotions properly when we are sober. We cannot do it. Addiction affects us physically, because we make poor choices, abuse our bodies, and stop exercising. Addiction affects us mentally, because we tend towards obsessive thoughts. And of course, addiction robs us of our spiritual fitness.
So the idea behind holistic treatment for drugs is to address all of these aspects of the individual in recovery. Most programs tend to just focus on getting the addict clean physically and then they offer a spiritual solution. This is a short sighted approach that does not really look at the big picture.
Now unfortunately, holistic treatment, when done right, takes a lot of time and costs a lot of money. It is too overwhelming to try and change everything all at once, yet this is exactly what must be done in early recovery. Just ask any addict who has some amount of clean time if this is true and they will confirm it: Yes, they had to change everything, and they did. If they had not then they would not be clean today. So a holistic approach really is necessary for success in recovery, whether we realize it or not.