Holistic Rehab May Produce Better Long Term Success Rates for Recovery

Holistic Rehab May Produce Better Long Term Success Rates for Recovery


One alternative to traditional drug treatment centers is an holistic rehab.  Let’s take a look at a few of the differences between traditional rehabs and holistic ones.

* Holistic rehabs are focused on holistic health and well being, whereas traditional rehabs are focused on spiritual growth and relapse prevention.

There is a subtle difference there that most people do not really appreciate. There is nothing necessarily wrong with traditional rehab.  The usual course of action is to borrow heavily from the 12 step program of AA, and use that as the core philosophy for teaching addicts and alcoholics how to recover.  It also makes for a handy support system for after you leave rehab.  In addition to the 12 step program, most traditional rehabs will also give lectures, use group therapy, and focus on relapse prevention tactics that might help people to stay clean and sober.  Nothing wrong with this, particularly, but of course the success rates are quite poor.

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An holistic treatment center is more likely to focus on stimulating and encouraging personal growth in all areas of a person’s life.  For example, they would be more concerned with nutrition and fitness than a traditional rehab.  They might also work more on meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, and that type of thing.  Holistic addiction treatment seeks to go beyond just spiritual growth as a means of recovery.

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Does it work any better?  Yes and no.  Recovery rates are going to be very similar for short term outcomes, regardless of what type of rehab you attend.  But if you survey the long term success stories in recovery, you will find that most of the “winners” who are staying sober are the ones who have a more holistic approach to recovery, and seek to grow in many different ways.  They are not limiting themselves to only spiritual growth.

The holistic approach may also work better because:

1) Focus on personal growth will give numerous benefits that are not directly related to recovery from addiction, but can be very important nonetheless for success in recovery.  For example, eating healthy and staying in good shape might be part of an holistic treatment approach, but these will not necessarily have a direct impact on sobriety rates.  However, they might help people to live longer, enjoy greater health, and possibly have an indirect effect on long term success rates that is difficult to measure.

2) Traditional recovery is usually group based, and some people with anxiety will not even give it a chance due to fear.  So an holistic approach might at least get addicts in the door who were previously unwilling to try any treatment at all.

* Holistic rehabs are generally going to be expensive, whereas it is possible to find cheaper alternative that are more traditional.

Cost is an issue.  It is possible to find traditional drug rehabs that do not cost a small fortune.  For example, there are non profit treatment centers that charge as little as a few hundred dollars per day.  Most holistic rehabs that I have encountered that offer a truly holistic approach do not have this sort of bargain pricing available.  The holistic approach is more comprehensive, more detailed, more effective in long term recovery, and inevitably costs more money.


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