In many cases, holistic rehab programs are considered alternative types of treatment because they don’t follow the traditional model, which focuses on psychotherapy, 12-step programs, and other support groups. Instead, holistic rehab facilities focus on addressing the individual as a whole—working on the mind-body-spirit connection to heal people from addiction. Some traditional addiction treatment facilities incorporate holistic treatment methods as well.
Why Holistic Rehab?
People turn to drugs and alcohol for a variety of reasons. Some people might try to medicate physical problems, such as back pain. Others might try to numb painful feelings of spiritual emptiness, or they might self-medicate underlying mental health issues.
People who struggle with substance abuse often aren’t aware which exact area (or areas) of health they’re misguidedly attempting to manage with their substance use behavior, so a program that focuses on improving and maintaining all 3 areas of health—as a holistic addiction rehab program does—has the best chance of targeting the problem areas so participants can become and remain sober.
According to the philosophy behind this type of program, all 3 areas of health are connected, meaning that disease in 1 area will affect the other 2. A holistic program will work to heal each area so the person can continue to stay sober after the main issues influencing substance use are resolved.
Benefits of Holistic Addiction Rehab
Almost anyone can benefit from getting help at a holistic rehab center. The only requirement for attending is a willingness to achieve sobriety.
Most holistic addiction rehab programs offer some of the same treatment options as traditional programs while offering extra benefits. For example, like traditional programs, holistic rehab programs have trained therapists on staff to provide daily group and individual therapy sessions as well as offering support groups on site.
Some features, such as the detoxification (detox) process, might be carried out differently in rehab facilities with a holistic focus. For example, detox at a holistic rehab may not include medications to ease uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
In addition to standard rehab features, holistic addiction rehab programs may also emphasize:
- Organic, all-natural meal plans to improve physical health and address any nutritional deficiencies due to addiction.
- Physical activities such as biking, hiking, mountain climbing, or swimming.
- Meditation sessions and exercises, such as yoga, tai chi, or prayer sessions.
- Complementary therapy, such as massage or acupuncture.
- Alternative types of effective psychotherapy, including art, music, or animal-assisted therapy.
- Scenic locations in the mountains or by the ocean or a lake.
What to Look For
As with any rehab program, you should evaluate holistic addiction rehab programs carefully to be sure the program you're considering is right for you. Questions to consider when looking at these types of programs include:
- What treatment options are available? It's important to choose a program that has a wide range of treatment options because not every type of treatment works equally well for all people. A facility should tailor treatment to the individual’s needs. Find out what types of therapy and other activities are offered. Ask whether all activities are required. Some holistic programs allow you to opt out of meditation or other non-traditional activities if you are not comfortable with them. Also, find out whether the treatments used are evidence-based, or shown to be effective.
- How long does the program last? Several options for program lengths should be available. You may make considerable recovery progress with programs that last a few weeks to a few months, although some people fare better with long-term programs. Find out whether you can start with a short-term program and extend your stay if needed. Treatment outcomes are generally better when an individual receives 90 days or more of effective treatment.
- Where is the program located? Find out the specific setting as well as how far away the program is from where you live. If a holistic addiction rehab program you're interested in is farther away than you’d like, you may have to weigh the potential benefits of the program against the distance and travel costs. If you have strong sober supports at home and within the community, choosing a local facility might be a better option.
- How much does the program cost? Holistic programs may be expensive because of the picturesque locations, high-quality food, and wide range of cutting-edge or complementary therapy activities. If possible, get a written breakdown of the costs so you can compare programs. Find out if you can save money by opting out of activities that are not of interest to you. Some facilities accept health insurance, provide sliding scale fees, or will work with you to develop a payment plan so that financial barriers don’t prevent you from receiving help.
- What are the staff credentials? All staff should have extensive experience and training with substance use disorders and have a good understanding of how to treat these types of problems. Additionally, consider the staff-to-patient ratio to ensure you’ll receive enough individual attention to benefit from treatment.
- Is the facility accredited? Each state maintains an accreditation body that supervises substance use disorder treatment facilities, so ask if the facility you’re considering is accredited. This means that it’s overseen by the state, which ensures that the facility is in compliance with state and federal treatment regulations. Reputable addiction rehab centers generally choose to also seek accreditation from a national program, such as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) or the Joint Commission (formerly known as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations or JCAHO).
- What kind of follow-up care is available? A quality program will provide you with an aftercare plan to help maintain sobriety after completion. Most facilities should provide information on support groups, sober living, and other forms of continued therapy or should help you be able to access these resources once you’ve finished the program.
About Executive and Luxury Rehabs
Executive rehab centers with a holistic treatment focus may be a good option when corporate responsibilities are keeping you or someone you care about from looking for help with a drug or alcohol problem or behavior-related addiction. By combining high-quality substance use or behavioral health-related treatments with the ability to connect to a computer or mobile device, these programs allow executives to get sober while staying productive and accessible to co-workers and clients.
Luxury rehabs centered on holistic addiction treatment provide upscale amenities a person would expect to find in the finest hotels. These facilities prioritize your personal comfort as well as your health during the rehab process. You can get addiction treatment for yourself or someone you care about while enjoying gym facilities, in-house massage therapy, housekeeping services, or fine linens.
How to Find the Right Holistic Rehab Program
If you’ve participated in a treatment program but later relapsed, it doesn’t mean that you failed. Holistic addiction rehab programs are widely available, with varying philosophies and treatment approaches. The most important part of choosing a holistic rehab is finding one that will tailor treatment to meet your needs during early recovery. If you’ve participated in a treatment program but later relapsed, it doesn’t mean that you failed. It just highlights a need for a change to the treatment plan. A holistic rehab may provide the necessary changes to ensure long-term sobriety.
Once you find holistic addiction rehab programs of interest to you, try to visit the centers in person if possible. You can speak with staff members and see how you feel about the surroundings. This preliminary comfort can help increase the likelihood that the program will work for you.
Also speak on the phone to the person who handles intake and ask questions about the facility and treatment process. This step allows you to get a sense of whether you will fit in and feel comfortable while attending the program and whether it matches your values and ideals. An admissions consultant can help you identify your needs and guide you in choosing a rehab program that is best for you. A mind-body-spirit connection for addiction rehab can be a life-changing way to begin your path to recovery.
- Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2015). Behavioral Health Trends in the United States: Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
- Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. (2016). Acupuncture Therapy in Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2013). Seeking Drug Abuse Treatment: Know What to Ask.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (3rd edition).