Drug addiction is commonly associated with illegal and illicit street drugs such as heroin and cocaine. While this is certainly a serious problem, addiction to prescription medication is often overlooked and just as serious. In fact, prescription drugs are responsible for more overdose deaths than illegal drugs. Every day in the United States at least 100 people die from a prescription drug overdose.
Addiction to prescription medication can happen to anyone. Incredibly addicting painkillers such as Oxycontin, Percocet, Xanax or Vicodin, are prescribed on a regular basis. In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that in one year enough painkillers were prescribed to medicate every American adult around-the-clock for one month.
Many people who become addicted to these medications begin by taking them legitimately for pain management, as prescribed by a doctor. Others may begin using them by stealing medications or buying them from those with a prescription. Since these medications have legitimate medical use and are prescribed by doctors, the problem of prescription medication addiction is often overlooked by the general public.
It is difficult for many to overcome their dependence on prescription medications, but recovery is indeed possible. Recovery begins with a detox phase, where a patient will undergo the effects of withdrawal from their abused substance. Quitting a substance cold turkey can lead to extreme withdrawal symptoms which are not only difficult to endure, but potentially hazardous to the patient’s health. Because of this, it is common to be prescribed one or more medications, such as Methadone, for the purpose of reducing both cravings and the side effects of withdrawal. There are other ways to get sober without taking another medication to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms.
Treatment Methods to Help Address Psychological Factors of Addiction
While the initial detox phase will reduce the body’s chemical dependence on a drug, true recovery means addressing the psychological factors which drive addiction. Traditional treatment options for recovery include both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs that involve:
- Group Therapy
- Family Therapy and Assistance Programs
Alternative Therapies & Holistic Treatments
These traditional options are effective, however they are not the only paths one has for recovery. Many new alternative therapies are showing promise in helping people overcome their addictions. These holistic treatments are designed to help patients resolve the underlying personal, physical, and psychological issues which are, in part, responsible for their addiction in the first place. A holistic approach to recovery can take a variety of forms.
Some of these forms may include:
- Yoga Classes: Tracey Haug, a yoga instructor at the Canadian Centre for Addictions, a drug rehab in Toronto, Canada, teaches yoga classes. This holistic approach has been proven to help recovering addicts to discover effective ways to relieve stress and anxiety related to their addictions, through its practice.
- Acupuncture: If an addict is resistant to drug rehab or counseling, acupuncture can help them to become more perceptive to the idea. It can also help to reduce anxiety and agitation, while making it easier to display calm and receptive behavior during treatment.
- Religious Services: Drug rehab centers that offer various religious services, do so holistically, to help recovering addicts. A deep sense of spirituality may help to fill a certain void that these individuals may feel. This 2004 report prepared for the Annie E. Casey Foundation states that religion can help struggling individuals to acquire both skills and knowledge, which promote spiritual health that can prevent drug abuse.
These are often effective alternative methods for promoting relaxation and reducing the levels of stress and anxiety which help drive addiction. Sometimes, personalized meal plans are often given to patients to ensure their bodies receive the necessary nutrients they need to fully recovery both physically and mentally. This is extremely important as many people suffering from drug addiction are also not receiving the proper nutrition they need to function.
Recovery is often a long road, but it is not impossible to travel. Overcoming addiction may be difficult to do alone, a wide range of treatment options exist. These options stem from traditional inpatient rehab facilities to outpatient programs that offer alternative holistic drug rehab approaches designed to not only help detox, but address the underlying issues which help to contribute to the addiction. With the right course of treatment, prescription drug addiction can be overcome and patients can go on to living a full and rewarding life. The “Methadone Program” is not the solution, kicking one habit for another is not the way to recover. Alternative therapies and holistic treatment is the best way to treat medicinal addictions, for the long-term, and kill the problem at the source.
By Jennifer Caughey
About the Author:
Jennifer Caughey is a content writer who has worked in the healthcare industry for the last 10 years. She has been writing about Alternative Therapies and Holistic Approaches for drug treatment, recovery and addiction for over half a decade to help contribute to health recovery.