Holistic is hip. Americans are warming up to accepting Eastern alternative healing protocols across the healthcare spectrum, which now includes addiction treatment as well. Rehab programs are embracing the holistic treatments to compliment their traditional therapies, and the effects have been positive. Drug addiction disrupts the connection between mind, body, and spirit, and by adding holistic and experiential therapies these connections are being repaired.
Holistic medicine for heroin addiction is not all that new. Traditional Chinese homeopathic practices have utilized plant-based interventions, such as Sinomenine, ginseng, and Stephania intermedia for treating opioid or heroin dependence, with recent studies investigating the efficacy of these herbal remedies. In addition to herbal medicines, the still illegal psychedelic root bark Ibogaine, and even psychedelic drugs like LSD and psilocybin, are being studied for their usefulness in treating heroin or opioid addiction.
Mostly, however, when it comes to adding holistic medicine for heroin addiction into the menu of treatment elements, rehabs are increasingly comfortable with more acceptable forms, such as yoga and meditation. Any practice that increases relaxation and reduces stress is considered beneficial to addicts. Using these strategies in conjunction with the various recovery tools provided can augment the effects of the treatment program in helping an individual overcome heroin addiction.
What is Holistic Medicine?
In Western medicine, the emphasis on curing disease is on labeling the condition and focusing treatment on squarely that diagnosis. What is often missing from traditional medicine in our culture is the attention to emotional health and wellbeing. Because the mind and body are intrinsically connected, it makes perfect sense to concentrate treatment on both of those aspects, which is where holistic medicine comes in.
Holistic therapies are derived from ancient Eastern medical practices that emphasize using natural healing methods to treat both the affliction and the emotional state. These practices are slowly but surely making there way into the mainstream medical community, with homeopathic medicine practitioners thriving. Because addiction is a brain-centered disease it is easy to see how these practices can be adapted to addiction treatment programs. In fact, some treatment programs base their entire treatment menu in holistic and alternative methods.
Types of Holistic Medicine for Heroin Addiction
There is a wide range of holistic practices being utilized in today’s rehabs. These might include:
- Yoga. Slow, deliberate poses and movements also integrate breath work and positive messaging
- Mindfulness meditation. Purposeful attention to the present moment, focusing on the sensory experiences and emotions of the moment while incorporating breath work
- Guided imagery. Using words and mental pictures to provide positive feelings and relaxation
- Acupuncture. Using the NADA protocol, acupuncture focuses on 5-points in the outer ear.
- Massage therapy. Massage can open up energy pathways and enhance relaxation
- NAD IV vitamin therapy. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (niacin, or vitamin B3) is administered via IV and aids cognitive function, focus and concentration and mood
- Equine therapy. Working with a horse, grooming, exercising, and feeding them, can be therapeutic on many level
- Art therapy. Art-based therapy provides an experiential activity that can help express deep emotions while also promoting relaxation and building self-esteem
- Gardening therapy. Purposeful tending to a planter or garden can improve mood, reduce stress, build self-esteem, and reduce aggression.
Integrated Heroin Treatment Programs
These days, a comprehensive rehab program will likely include at least a few of the most popular holistic practices as part of the overall treatment plan. Holistic medicine options are found to augment the effects of the traditional evidence-based therapies, helping clients delve a bit deeper into their emotional state of being to unlock potential contributing factors that had never been addressed or processed.
An integrated heroin treatment plan may include:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Medication-assisted treatment
- 12-step recovery elements and meetings
- Family therapy or couples therapy
- Addiction education
- Relapse avoidance strategies
- Mindfulness meditation
- Yoga classes
- Massage therapy
As each client will have their own particular recovery needs and addiction features, it is important to seek an integrated program that specializes in individualized treatment plans.
Other Elements that Aid Heroin Addiction Recovery
In addition to the holistic therapies, increased focus on brain-beneficial nutrition and regular exercise can further amplify the effects of addiction treatment. Acquiring healthy habits and routines in rehab can transfer to regular life once rehab is completed. These healthy activities will improve emotional wellbeing, reduce drug cravings, and assist in restoring physical health in recovery:
- Nutrition. To restore brain health, eat a diet rich in lean proteins such as turkey, lean beef, chicken, eggs, nuts and seeds, fresh vegetables and fruits, and minimal processed foods and sugars.
- Exercise. Regular exercise can amplify wellbeing by boosting mood-enhancing endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, improving concentration and focus, lead to better sleep quality, and improve overall physical strength and stamina.
- Sleep. Getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night has enormous benefits to mood and energy levels. A regular sleep routine is key, as well as avoiding caffeine after mid-afternoon, avoiding meals after 7:00pm, avoiding electronic gadgets and cell phones at least one hour before sleep. A warm bath with lavender oil can also help promote relaxation before bedtime.
Re-building physical and emotional wellness takes time. When in recovery from a heroin addiction these efforts will enhance the quality of life and incrementally improve mental health and wellbeing.
Solutions 4 Recovery Provides Holistic Medicine for Heroin Addiction
Solutions 4 Recovery is an addiction and dual diagnosis recovery program based in Orange County, California. Solutions 4 Recovery was early to embrace the benefits of adding holistic and experiential therapies into the treatment program, understanding that drug addiction impacts all aspects of the being. By integrating holistic practices into the program, clients at Solutions 4 Recovery learn important skills that help them moderate stress and reshape their responses to triggers. For more information about the program, please contact Solutions 4 Recovery today at (888) 417-1874.