When it comes to choosing a treatment center for drug or alcohol addiction, selecting the right facility for yourself or a loved one is critical. Not only must the program deliver high-quality treatment, it needs to be a place where the individual feels safe and comfortable while going through detox and recovery.
There are many rehabilitation centers that claim to have holistic programs, so it’s worth exploring those claims a bit further. What does “holistic” mean? Is holistic treatment really important, or simply a perk? Is holistic care better than traditional treatment?
We’ll answer these questions and more, and provide the information you need to evaluate any holistic treatment center you are considering.
What Is Holistic Addiction Treatment?
The word holistic comes from the word “whole,” so it’s no surprise that a holistic approach to addiction treatment is focused on healing the whole person: mind, body and spirit.
However, oftentimes the term holistic is used to refer to homeopathic, or alternative medicine therapies such as meditation, yoga, reiki, etc. Many drug rehab facilities incorporate homeopathic methods, but that’s not the same as offering a holistic treatment model.
As you research recovery options, you’ll find three primary types of treatment programs available to you:
- Medical/disease model (also known as evidence-based treatment)
- Behavioral treatment model
- Integrated treatment model (holistic, whole-person treatment)
The Three Models of Addiction Treatment
Let’s look at each of these models so that you can understand what each one entails and choose the type that best fits your needs.
In this model, addiction is viewed as a physical disease, and the focus is on healing the body from this ailment. The goal is to break the cycle of physical dependency and get the body back to healthy functioning.
The treatment methods used are medication and therapy, and are often referred to as “evidence-based” treatment.
Some practitioners consider the disease of addiction to be essentially incurable, and that addictive tendencies must be managed through replacement medication and/or the willpower to resist temptation.
In the disease model of addiction, education focuses on managing the disease rather than addressing the underlying psychological and emotional issues that led to chemical dependency in the first place.
The behavioral model is on the opposite end of the spectrum of the medical/disease model, as it focuses almost completely on the psychological symptoms and causes of addiction. The goal is to correct behaviors by exploring feelings and analyzing choices: This usually happens in group therapy sessions. Some programs may offer individual therapy as well, but options vary from program to program.
Many behavioral-model programs feature some variation of the 12-step program, and many faith-based treatment centers employ this model as well. The drawback of this model is that patients may receive limited medical care since the main focus is on healing though changes in behavior.
The integrated treatment model incorporates elements of both of the other models, while adding a few elements of its own.
The focus of the integrated model is healing the whole person, so a variety of treatment methods are used, including:
- Physical Healing – medically supervised detox, nutritional support and education, exercise programs, and alternative medicine such as aromatherapy and massage therapy
- Psychological Healing – individual and group therapy, education on personal empowerment and decision making, and assistance with goal setting and future planning
- Emotional and Spiritual Healing – meditation, yoga, adventure therapy, art and music therapy, etc.
The goal of integrated treatment is not simply to manage a disease or “fix” a person’s attitude, but to give them the tools, education and support needed to create a happier and sober lifestyle. Because of this, integrated programs also involve creating a customized treatment plan for each individual, because what each person needs and wants from treatment is going to vary.
At Elevate, we combine a structured program for our clients with personalized modifications as needed for each individual. We also allow each person to move through the program at the pace that is right for him or her.
Questions to Ask When Evaluating an Addiction Treatment Program
The best way to prevent relapse after addiction treatment is to choose a treatment model that will be a good fit for the individual attending rehab. This is a very personal choice, and hopefully the information on the three models of treatment will help you make an informed decision.
If you’ve decided that a holistic, integrated treatment program is ideal for your situation, here are some specific questions that you can ask as you evaluate treatment centers:
- Is the program’s focus on treating the whole person? Or just the body or the mind?
- If they say they offer “holistic” treatment, is it really an integrated program, or just a few homeopathic methods, like meditation, added to an evidence-based or behavioral treatment model?
- Is individual therapy provided in addition to group therapy?
- Is the program designed to find and address the root cause of addiction?
- Will the staff create a customized treatment plan for each client?
- How does the facility help people through detox? Do they use medication, and under what circumstances?
- After detox, what kind of education is provided? Will there be a chance to develop healthy habits like eating well, fun exercise, healthy recreation, meditation, relationship building, etc.?
- What kind of ongoing support does the treatment center offer after a client graduates?
How Elevate Uses Holistic Treatment
At Elevate, we subscribe wholeheartedly to the integrated treatment model. We believe that every person who comes through our doors – no matter how bad their present situation – is capable of fully recovering from drug or alcohol addiction.
Our goal is to help them get off all unnecessary and harmful substances and back to their natural, wholesome self. With compassion and respect, we show them how to live a joyful, substance-free life.