Alternative Alcohol & Substance Abuse Treatment Options

Alcohol & Substance Abuse Treatment

Taking the brave first step in seeking help is difficult. Unfortunately, it can be just as hard as finding a treatment method that works. If you are having difficulty succeeding in your current recovery process, do not give up. Treatment is not a one-size-fits-all approach. There are many different options available that could be a better fit for you. For example, some people are addicted to drugs whereas others are stuck to alcohol or other substances. Some retreats, such as the Amethyst Recovery Center specialise in helping people recover from substance addiction. Check out some alternative alcohol & substance abuse treatment recovery methods below.

Art and Music Therapy

Attending therapy in rehab is common. Many patients benefit from digging into the route of their substance abuse problem. However, not everyone can find the words to express themselves during a talk or group therapy session. In situations like this, turning to art or music therapy can be incredibly beneficial.

In art therapy, the goal is not to focus on the aesthetics of art, but rather to practice a safe form of expression. Through drawing, painting, coloring, or sculpting, art therapy has helped patients gain self-esteem, reduce stress, and learn healthy coping mechanisms.

Similarly, music therapy is processed through the entire brain, and can help bring patients to a relaxing state. With no prior experience necessary, this can involve drumming, writing lyrics, playing instruments, and singing. Studies have proven music therapy to help manage fears and anxieties, and even alleviate physical pain.

Holistic Treatment

Unlike more traditional programs, holistic treatment focuses not only on addressing the symptoms of alcohol and substance abuse, but the entire person. Through focusing on the body, mind, and spirit, the goal is to create a completely new, healthy lifestyle. The idea is to promote a better well-being through a shift in mindset.

Often, this method does not come with a structured program. The lack of steps allows each treatment to be tailored to a patient’s individual needs. This can be achieved through a combination of different techniques such as yoga, meditation, stress and trigger reduction, a balanced diet, exercise, acupuncture, or medicine. While this method is gaining popularity, some patients benefit more from a more structured program

Look to a Higher Power

Turning to a higher power, or spiritual treatment, is common in addiction recovery. In fact, many well-established programs, like the traditional 12-step method, have a spiritual component to them already. Other programs aim to replace addiction with spirituality.

Do not confuse spirituality with religion. While some spiritual programs do encourage you to look to a higher power, that power can be anything from God to nature to simply better connecting with the world around you.

However, be warned; Psychology Today notes that there is no proven link between a spiritual connection and recovery. In fact, treatments that rely too heavily on spirituality tend to have greater chances of relapse. It is best to use this treatment in conjunction with another method.

Practice Mindfulness

One of the biggest causes of relapse is stress and negative influences during recovery. The best way to combat these triggers is to learn to practice mindfulness. By staying present in the moment, not only can you learn to identify and therefore avoid stress and negative influences, but also to better cope with your negative emotions. In fact, a study from the JAMA Network showed that mindfulness-based programs significantly reduced relapse.

Meditation is an excellent vehicle to practice mindfulness through. Just five minutes of meditation a day can improve focus, reduce depression and anxiety, and relax the body and mind. It is an excellent and healthy way to manage stress.

Exercise and Eat Right

Multiple studies have been conducted that highlight the benefits of exercise during recovery. In addition to being a way to manage stress, exercise increases self-esteem, balances hormones, and reduces the risk of relapse. It is also a great motivator in encouraging patients to become healthy. Focus on creating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. As your body begins to feel healthier, you’ll be encouraged to keep these new habits up.

However, former addicts run the risk of replacing one addiction with another. If you find yourself obsessing over weights, hours at the gym, and counting calories, you should seek additional help immediately.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment

One of the biggest decisions you will need to make is whether to go to an inpatient or outpatient facility. While both can provide the necessary care, whichever you choose depends on your needs.

Inpatient treatments provide 24-hour, around-the-clock support in an isolated environment. This allows the patient to focus solely on recovery without the stress and distractions of the outside world. This can be greatly beneficial for heavy abusers. A strict schedule and trained medical staff has the ability to monitor you and treat you at the moment the need arises.

For mild to moderate abusers, outpatient treatment might be a better option. Often, these programs meet for multiple hours a week over several days. This allows for enough flexibility to continue with your daily life. You are still required to attend regular check-ins with medical professionals who will monitor your health and provide solutions as you go through recovery.

The Path to Sobriety Through Alcohol & Substance Abuse Treatment

Becoming sober can be a daunting task. Remember that you are not in this alone. Do not hesitate to seek support from friends and loved ones. Together, you can find a treatment that best works for you.


Kimberly Hayes enjoys writing about health and wellness and created to help keep the public informed about the latest developments in popular health issues and concerns. In addition to studying to become a crisis intervention counselor, Kimberly is hard at work on her new book, which discusses the ins and outs of alternative addiction treatments.