Alternative methods for treating substance abuse have become so pervasive that many medical providers and treatment centers have abandoned the traditional approach. In fact, these methods are not even considered alternative anymore by the people who have benefited from them. Also called holistic treatment, these remedies focus on working the mind and body in a more natural environment. In the following section, we will look into some of the most commonly used and effective alternative methods for the treatment of drug addiction.
NAD IV treatment
In alternative treatments for drug abuse, use of a coenzyme derivative of a vitamin B3 complex called NAD has become very popular. It is an organic compound and is considered to be one of the basic human nutrients. NAD IV treatment has been especially beneficial for alcohol and opiate abusers.
The coenzyme acts as catalyst in many biochemical metabolisms in the body that are necessary for energy production. Substance abusers or addicts have low levels of proteins and vitamins in their system. Nutrients which are essential for the organic formation of NAD. Therefore, their energy levels are low, and the craving and withdrawal symptoms become more intense. Such people are extremely susceptible to rebound.
NAD IV treatment works on the lines of providing the patient with large doses of NAD intravenously. This increases energy levels and helps in lowering the intensity and frequency of withdrawal symptoms. The whole course of administering NAD is considered as a detox plan, which helps in providing improved mental clarity, better cognition and a more stable mood.
Practice of mindfulness
Mindfulness is a state of mind in which a person becomes more self-aware and is able to maintain his or her focus on the present moment. An important part of mindfulness is to expel negative thoughts without obsessing over them. Mindfulness and meditation practices also help in lowering levels of a hormone called cortisol in the blood. Cortisol is a steroid by nature which is responsible for inducing stress in the human body.
People affected with substance abuse find it tough to recover from the vicious cycle of addiction. They live under constant stress, negative thoughts and emotions and this increases their chances of relapsing. Meditation and mindfulness along with other addiction treatments can help them maintain a stable state of mind.
In the early stages of rehabilitation, recovering addicts are feeling terrible due to anxiety, depression and mood swings. All these things happen because in this cleansing phase, their body undergoes a drastic biochemical imbalance which makes it difficult for them to pass through the recovery phase.
In biochemical restoration, consumption of nutrients plays a very important role, because many of the bodily reactions, from the regulation of neurotransmitters to the levels of blood sugar, are affected by our patterns of nutrient consumption.
Biochemical restoration uses suitable amounts of different nutrients to make sure that the recovering addict can successfully get rid of his/her harmful habits.
Exercise, as most people know is one of the most effective ways to stay healthy, even if you are not ill; subsequently, this is another way to fight off the hold of addiction. Of course, there are lots of benefits that can be contributed to daily exercise and collectively, all of these can be used as a substitute method for the treatment of drug addiction.
It is not necessary that one should start with an extensive exercise routine, recovering addicts should start with light physical activities. While physical exercise has many well-known physiological benefits, there are also certain positive mental and psychological advantages that can fight against addiction.
- Exercise provides a sense of purpose and perception that you are striving for your own improvement
- During exercise our body releases hormones called endorphins, also known as happy chemicals because they boost mood
- Exercise encourages neurogenesis in the hippocampus, which improves memory and learning
Work with your medical professional to discuss exercise, as he/she may want to put you on a special training plan due to your condition.
Acupuncture, now an integral part of alternative medicine, has been around as part of traditional Chinese medicine for a long time. This medical practice is usually performed to relieve physical pain but there are theories that suggest that acupuncture can also regulate neurotransmitters and the endocrine system, which results in relaxed state of body and mind.
Keep in mind, acupuncture is not a standalone treatment for drug addiction. But it can be used with other alternative drug addiction treatments for enhanced results.
People tend to think that they have to choose between traditional and alternative treatments when it comes to drug addiction. They feel it’s the case of ‘either or”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. A holistic approach could be devised by combining both types of treatment options, but no decision should be made alone. It should always be reviewed by a medical professional. So, discuss these holistic approaches with your doctor first, as this can help you pave your path for a more convenient recovery.