Addiction is often associated with weakness, reduced to a moral failure on the part of an individual to stop self-destructive behavior. However, such thinking implies that addiction is a choice, when it is rather a complex, genetically predisposed and chronic disease that plagues its victims and eliminates their freedom and autonomy in their own lives. In addition, as noted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, repeated drug abuse changes the function and chemical systems in the brain, which further reduces their ability to resist taking drugs.
Traditional addiction treatment usually involves prescription medication to reduce drug dependence and withdrawals and to help detox the patient. Immediate abstention for certain drugs can be deadly because of withdrawal symptoms, so it is imperative for addicts to get help from a licensed psychiatrist, therapist, or other professional. Though traditional treatment methods are often helpful and successful, given the complexity of addiction and the high likelihood of relapse for addicts, other alternative treatment methods can be vital to an individual’s recovery if used in addition to or separately from traditional medicated methods, depending on the individual case.
Such alternative methods include acupuncture, biofeedback, meditation, and addiction hypnotherapy, among others, according to the American Holistic Health Association. Acupuncture can help reduce withdrawal systems and aid detox, biofeedback has had profound effects in preventing relapse, and meditation promotes mindfulness which can reduce anxiety and impulsive behavior. Addiction hypnotherapy, in particular, can be vital to certain patients for treatment as it helps patients identify and avoid certain triggers and work through underlying emotional, behavioral, and psychological issues that contribute to drug abuse.
If you are currently struggling with an addiction that is resistant to traditional treatment methods, a more holistic approach may be needed for a lasting and effectual recovery with the introduction of somewhat unconventional but increasingly important and veritable methods outside of medication and therapy.