Shifting Towards Holistic Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

Shifting Towards Holistic Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

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There are many different types of treatment for alcohol addiction that a struggling alcoholic might pursue.  For example, there is counseling, outpatient therapy, group therapy, 12 step meetings, inpatient rehab, and so on.  I want to propose an idea though….that holistic treatment for addiction is the best choice for most alcoholics in the long run.  There are several reasons why I believe this.  Let’s take a look.

First of all, most alcohol addiction treatments are not holistic.  Instead, they are usually spiritual or behavioral, using either counseling or 12 step programs in order to try to help people.  For example, if a person has a drinking problem, they might go see a therapist a few times each month, and talk about their problem and attempt to cut down on their drinking.  This would be a more behavioral approach because they are simply trying to have a discussion and then change their behavior based on that.

Another typical approach is for the alcoholic to pursue a spiritual experience through the 12 step program in order to turn their life around.  This is a fairly indirect approach in which abstinence from alcohol is only implied.  It does work for some people but many who try the 12 step program will fail at it.  This says more about how difficult it is to get sober than it does about the 12 step program of AA, however.  There are not magic bullets out there; no outstanding alternatives.

In spite of that, there is an approach that seems to be what successful people in recovery end up achieving, regardless of how they go about getting there.  This is the holistic approach.  In many cases, people who are working a 12 step program, or any other program for that matter, be it religious based or otherwise, will end up using an holistic approach in the end.  What does this mean?  It means that:

* They are seeking personal growth in different categories of their life.  Such as mental, spiritual, emotional, physical, etc.  So they may pursue fitness, or yoga, or meditation, or exercise, or higher learning, etc.

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* They are pushing themselves to keep learning and growing rather than practicing self acceptance and using it as an excuse to be lazy.

* They are growing outside the boundaries of their recovery program.  They are not confined to “group think.”

This is the holistic approach to recovery, and it makes a lot of sense because it becomes more powerful than a traditional approach in that it is better at fighting off complacency in the long run.

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