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Alternative Treatment


There are many ways to tackle a drug addiction problem, including medical detox, inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, relapse prevention, and 12-step support groups. While most treatment programs are based on conventional medical and psychotherapeutic techniques, there are an increasing number of alternative treatment options on the market. Alternative treatment programs include creative therapies such as art therapy and music therapy, physical therapies such as restorative yoga and fitness, and spiritual therapies such as meditation and Christian education. Alternative therapy programs are available throughout Idaho and across the United States, both on an independent basis and through rehabilitation centers.


Conventional drug treatment

Drug addiction treatment is typically administered as a sequential process, from the early stages of intervention and detox through to the later stages of aftercare and relapse prevention. The entire treatment process can be broken down into three separate components: detox, rehab, and aftercare support. Detox helps people to stop using problematic drugs, with medications sometimes applied to reduce and manage withdrawal symptoms. Rehab helps to address the emotional and cognitive precedents of addiction, with behavioral and motivational programs administered to change behavior from the inside-out. Aftercare is designed to promote long-term abstinence, including conventional 12-step programs and sober living spaces. While most traditional treatment options are based on pharmacotherapeutic or psychotherapeutic measures, there are more alternative treatment programs out there than ever before.


New therapies

A number of new and exciting therapy options have become available in recent years, including creative therapies, physical therapies, experiential therapies, and spiritual therapies. Examples include art therapy, drama therapy, music therapy, general spirituality, restorative yoga, mindfulness and meditation, gender-based rehab, and biofeedback. While these programs are not available from all treatment centers, they are becoming increasingly available in Idaho and across the United States. In addition to commercial rehab centers, alternative treatment programs may also be available through non-profit organizations, community centers, and spiritual organizations. People are always looking for new and innovative ways to treat substance use disorders, with more options likely in future years.


Creative therapies

A number of creative therapies have become available in recent times, including art therapy, drama therapy, and music therapy. These programs view the creative act itself as a therapeutic act, with recovering addicts taught how to make art, music, and drama as a way to communicate deep seated ideas and emotions. Unlike conventional therapies which are often confrontational in nature, this approach to treatment provides a relaxed and informal setting where patients can learn how to deal with their thoughts and feelings without resorting to unhealthy and compulsive behavior. Art and music therapy programs are more widely available than ever before, both from independent operators and commercial treatment centers.


SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery (Self Management and Recovery Training) is an international non-profit organization involved with drug addiction treatment. The SMART system is often seen as an alternative to conventional 12-step programs, with this approach to treatment using secular and scientific methods instead of spiritual-religious methods. SMART Recovery programs are based on motivational, behavioral and cognitive methods, much like conventional cognitive behavioral therapy and relapse prevention systems. With a gentle and non-confrontational approach, this system is perfect for people in the early stages of recovery. The SMART system uses a four-point plan and seven-stage process, with recovering addicts given different exercises and assignments to perform depending on their individual progress. The seven stages are precontemplation, contemplation, determination, action, maintenance, relapse prevention, and graduation.