Are There Alternative Therapies for Drug Rehab?

Alternative Therapies

There is a wide range of medical, psycho-therapeutic and complementary therapies available to people seeking treatment for drug abuse. Because everyone responds to treatment differently, what is effective for one person may not be for another. People with addiction issues are increasingly seeking alternatives to traditional medical methods of treatment and there have been significant developments in holistic approaches to offer more options.

In many drug rehab facilities, therapies taken from mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation are used to educate patients on coping mechanisms they can use in recovery when they complete treatment.

All addiction treatment programs comprise a combination of therapies and treatment protocols and they are generally personalized according to the patient’s unique care needs.

In this article we take a closer look at some of the alternative therapies rehab centers have available which can be beneficial as part of an effective treatment program:

Yoga and Mindfulness-Based Therapies

Perhaps the most recognizable alternative therapies are those we touched on above that are derived in mindfulness practices. When someone has been addicted to drugs they may have become disconnected from their bodies in some way as a result of losing control to the compulsion to use. Withdrawal symptoms can rock the body’s balance to such a degree that the damage done can be persistent. Mindfulness practices involve focusing on controlling breathing while stretching-through different postures and movements, encouraging total engagement between mind and body.

Art Therapy

Art Therapy is an alternative or experiential therapy that involves a number of mediums to allow patients free the expression of their innermost emotions. This is another form of therapy that’s similar to working with yoga in that it provides a less jarring approach to addiction treatment and involves an element of enjoyment. By creating images or collages with pens, tissue paper, clay and even a wooden board and nails, patients in addiction treatment can find creative outlets they may continue to pursue after they’ve completed treatment.

Adventure Therapy

A less well-known therapy for addiction treatment is adventure therapy, which is something that has strong appeal for people who were always active before they began to struggle with drug abuse. Adventure pursuits are dynamic by nature and they are beneficial in enabling patients to self-reflect and work through their issues in a unique way. Activities such as hiking, camping or even just playing physical games are used as a method of encouraging patients to re-engage with the world around them after the period of isolation often caused by addiction.


This is an approach that allows patients to monitor their body’s physiological processes to bring about psychological change and involves a medical device that measures the heart rate, skin conductance, and muscle tension. By watching how the body reacts to various stimuli in real-time, patients can learn how to self-regulate their responses to prevent relapse for more effective recovery. Neurofeedback is a similar method although it involves having electrodes hooked to the head which monitors brainwaves. Both feedback methods promote relaxation, reduce cravings and also provide an important coping mechanism against the triggers faced in daily life when treatment is finished.

Personalized Treatment Programs Deliver Most Effective Results

One of the most important aspects of drug rehabilitation is evaluation and assessment when a patient is first admitted to a treatment program. This allows both patient and therapists to identify the underlying issues causing addiction to develop and devise a personalized program to address their unique care needs. Not only will the right combination of therapies be used for each individual on a program, but it will last for as long as they need continuing treatment to remain abstinent.  Once patients have learned to cope with their issues on their own, they can look forward to enjoying a rich and rewarding life in recovery.