Holistic Addiction Treatment Programs

Group of people in a holistic treatment classThose with issues of drug or alcohol abuse experience firsthand how the abused substances can significantly impact the user’s brain and behavior. Drugs and alcohol provide rewarding and pleasurable feelings that further motivate the individual to continue to abuse them. Substance addiction robs the individual of their self-control, and the drug abuse becomes compulsive. As addiction develops, compulsive substance use behavior increases in intensity and frequency, even when negative consequences occur as a direct result.

Quitting drugs or alcohol can be extremely challenging due to the physical and psychological power of the substances. Moving away from addiction and towards recovery is a difficult process that can be aided by professional drug addiction treatment programs. Though many varieties of substance abuse treatment can exist, people looking for a whole person approach to recovery should consider a holistic addiction treatment program. Holistic rehab can be appropriate for anyone, including those needing intense, 24-hour care.

How To Detox the Body

Side Note PictureThe only way to detox your body from drugs and alcohol addiction is to stop consumption. There is a wide variety of detox treatment centers. The main goal of detox is to help an individual overcome addiction in a safe environment.
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What is Holistic Treatment?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recommend that substance abuse treatments target addiction and wellness in comprehensive ways 2,3. Holistic treatment is a term used to describe any substance abuse treatment program that focuses on improving the well-being of the entire person, not just addressing their substance abuse issues. They promote wellness of the mind, body, and spirit with the belief that any imbalance of these factors will lead to unwanted outcomes.

All aspects of the individual must be working together to achieve wellness and long-term recovery.

This is valuable because many people with addictions have problems across multiple areas of functioning, but not all programs offer complete holistic services. Some services focused on treating alcoholism or drug addiction may not recognize positive characteristics of the individual that could support recovery. Other programs can ignore stressors that contribute to current use or future relapse. Holistic addiction treatments strive to address these shortcomings through a multidimensional approach that provides many therapies and services to the individual.

Holistic addiction treatments will address the individual’s 3:

  • Emotional health: Mental health state, symptoms, and ability to cope with daily stressors.
  • Environmental status: The person’s home, surrounding neighborhood, safety, and stability.
  • Finances: Income, expenses, debt, and the individual’s satisfaction with their status.
  • Intellectual abilities: Taking creative opportunities and expanding skills and knowledge.
  • Occupation: A person’s fulfillment and satisfaction from their work.
  • Physical health: Medical health diagnoses, diet, exercise, and sleep habits.
  • Social life: The level of human connection and sense of belonging a person feels, as well as the presence of a solid support system.
  • Spiritual life: Discovering a sense of meaning and purpose in life.

Holistic treatments evaluate and work to improve each category in order to boost the individual’s overall wellness. Holistic treatments are based on the notion that each category of wellness influences the others. This implies that no matter how strong someone’s physical health is, their overall wellness will be limited if their emotional health is suffering 3. All aspects of the individual must be working together to achieve wellness and maintain recovery in the long-run.

Holistic addiction treatment services are a wonderful opportunity to improve a person’s overall well-being and satisfaction with life while promoting a drug-free lifestyle. If you think that you or someone you know could benefit from holistic treatment, call 1-888-509-8965 today.

What Approaches are Used?

Man doing yoga insideHolistic  treatment programs will offer a wide array of services since they focus on addressing many needs of the person in recovery. In some ways, these programs will provide many services that are common throughout addiction treatment centers. For example, many holistic treatment programs will also employ traditional behavioral therapies including 1:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): A widely used style of therapy that builds coping skills while identifying situations and stressors that threaten sobriety.
  • Motivational interviewing: A method used to increase a person’s internal drive to remain drug-free.
  • Family therapy: Used to build strong connections and communication skills with family and significant others.
  • Contingency management: Designed to reinforce sober activities and lifestyle choices to counter the rewarding effects of substance abuse.

Holistic treatment will offer other interventions that extend beyond those available in traditional addiction programs. These additional methods are sometimes referred to as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) 4. Alternative treatments are ones used instead of traditional strategies while complementary treatments are used in collaboration with traditional care 4. These approaches fall outside of the standard care one might receive, but many CAM strategies are safe and effective 4. Holistic programs may also be referred to as integrative treatments because they coordinate complementary and conventional interventions to accomplish recovery goals 4.

Holistic addiction programs may utilize popular complementary treatments like 4:

  • Natural products including herbs, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and other products often labeled as supplements.
  • Balanced diets with nutritional counseling.
  • Relaxation techniques to calm the body and the mind including:
    • Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR).
    • Guided imagery.
    • Meditation.
  • Exercise and movement therapies like yoga and tai chi.
  • Chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation.
  • Massage therapy.

Each program will differ in the techniques offered. Other holistic programs may include 4,5,6:

  • Acupuncture.
  • Self-hypnosis.
  • Expressive arts therapies.
  • Equine therapy.
  • Spiritual counseling.

Treatment Considerations

Therapist talks with patient about treatment considerationsSomeone interested in seeking holistic treatment for their alcoholism or substance addiction may become overwhelmed by the process. After all, there are many treatment options to consider when choosing a recovery program, but not all services will be appropriate for all people. For instance, holistic substance abuse treatment can be either inpatient or outpatient.

  • Outpatient holistic addiction treatments are more appropriate for people with less severe addictions, better supports, and the ability to follow through with treatment recommendations while outside of a treatment center. During outpatient treatment, the individual will continue living at home and travel to the facility for treatment at regular intervals.
  • Inpatient holistic rehab differs because the person lives at the center throughout the course of treatment. Inpatient options are best for people with few supports, severe addictions, or an inability to complete treatment goals independently. Holistic rehabs offer 24-hour care that can last for from 1-3 months, depending on the needs of the individual.

Each level of treatment has benefits and drawbacks. Since holistic treatment focuses on all aspects of the person’s wellness, inpatient options can provide comprehensive treatment in all areas of a person’s life during the person’s stay. Outpatient holistic treatments have the benefit of allowing the person to practice and perfect these skills in their home environment with their natural supports.

Each holistic treatment program will provide a different combination of services, so it will be helpful to research what treatments a specific option utilizes to see if it is ideal for your situation. Holistic addiction considerations include:

  • Level of service: Beyond outpatient versus inpatient, does the program offer detoxification or other specialized programs?
  • Staffing: What is the staff-to-patient ratio and what are the qualifications of the staff? Are medical professionals available?
  • Types of treatments: Are the interventions used during treatment well-researched and evidenced-based? This is especially important because research is lacking with some CAM strategies.
  • Experience: Does this program have experience working with your unique needs like a dual diagnosis or being a sexual minority? Are treatment plans individualized?
  • Aftercare options: Linking individuals to ongoing care when holistic treatment ends will help maintain sobriety.

Price of Holistic Rehab

Whether seeking holistic addiction treatments or other forms of substance abuse treatment, a person can expect a wide range of prices and fees based on:

  • Type of services provided.
  • Location of the treatment facility.
  • Total length of treatment.
  • Number of patients treated at the center.

As a general example, exclusive services provided by expert staff in a resort setting for a long duration will cost more than a more standard range of services provided by a less-credentialed staff in a traditional treatment setting.

Make sure you can afford the holistic treatment program before enrolling.

Another important factor affecting price is the intensity of services, since inpatient/residential programs are normally more expensive than outpatient options. According to averages across many treatment providers 8:

  • Standard outpatient with weekly hour-long sessions costs $2,300 for 18 weeks of treatment.
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) that offer services for several hours per session with multiple sessions per week cost $4,200 for 12 weeks of treatment.
  • Therapeutic communities, longer duration inpatient/residential options, cost $21,400 for 33 weeks of treatment.
  • Adult residential, shorter-term residential treatment, costs $10,200 for 13 weeks of treatment.

The price and insurance coverage will vary by treatments utilized in the program. With many CAM strategies lacking evidenced-based research, insurance providers may not view the treatments as medically necessary and withhold coverage. Since financial stress is a risk factor for relapse, it’s important to make sure you can afford the holistic treatment program before enrolling.

Find a Recovery Program

Holistic substance abuse treatment programs are a great way to get clean and sober. To learn more about treatment options for yourself or a loved one, call 1-888-509-8965 today.


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). DrugFacts: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction.
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition).
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2016). The Eight Dimensions of Wellness.
  4. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2016). Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: What’s In a Name?
  5. Kern-Godal, A., Arnevik, E. A., Walderhaug, E., & Ravndal, E. (2015). Substance Use Disorder Treatment Retention and Completion: A Prospective Study of Horse-Assisted Therapy (HAT) for Young Adults. Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, 10, 21.
  6. Fritz, T. H., Vogt, M., Lederer, A., Schneider, L., Fomicheva, E., Schneider, M., & Villringer, A. (2015). Benefits of Listening to a Recording of Euphoric Joint Music Making in Polydrug Abusers. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9, 300.
  7. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2016). Are You Considering a Complementary Health Approach?
  8. French, M. T., Popovici, I., & Tapsell, L. (2008). The Economic Costs of Substance Abuse Treatment: Updated Estimates and Cost Bands for Program Assessment and ReimbursementJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment35(4), 462–469.