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6 Alternative Options for Substance Abuse Treatment

Substance abuse affects not only the afflicted individual, but their families, friends, and the communities they live and work in. This makes it one of the most challenging and consequential health problems that modern medicine is tasked with solving. 

Because traditional rehabilitative programs do not work for everyone, it’s essential an addicted person take the time to explore all viable options in order to truly understand the types of treatments that are available.


Biofeedback is an interesting alternative addiction treatment program that aims to help a substance abuser understand what drives them to misuse drugs or alcohol. Over a series of sessions during which you are connected to an EEG (electro-encephalogram) machine with multiple pain-free sensors, you will see on display your own brainwaves. You will be prompted to envision a variety of scenarios, including scenarios in which you have successfully completed a substance abuse program and are no longer abusing drugs or alcohol. By visually seeing how your brain “operates” during these imaginings, you will actually be able to encourage yourself to utilize other alternative treatments in order to successfully overcome your addiction.

Ibogaine therapy

Ibogaine is a substance found in the West African Apocynaceae shrub family. In small doses, ibogaine produces mild stimulant effects. In larger doses, ibogaine has psychedelic effects, including difficulty standing, loss of strong motor control, and an induction an altered state of consciousness, or what many people describe as a dreamlike state during which they are awake but feeling as though they are dreaming as they process memories and difficult emotions.

Since the 1990s ibogaine has been harnessed for use in the treatment of substance abuse. Ibogaine can be used to stave off or altogether avoid unpleasant and even dangerous withdrawal symptoms; and it can also be used in conjunction with other addiction treatment methods, such as meditation and one-on-one therapy, to help patients process traumas and difficult memories that may be contributing to substance abuse and addiction.

While ibogaine is not considered to be a mainstream drug abuse treatment option, it is nevertheless a viable option that should be considered. Learning how much does ibogaine cost will depend on a few factors. These include the length of your treatment, the severity of your addiction, and whether or not your medical insurance will help cover the cost of treatment.

Inpatient and outpatient rehab programs

For many who are overwhelmed but ready to make a change in their lives, an inpatient rehab stay is a good “jump-start” to a successful addiction-beating regimen. Inpatient rehab stays can be as little as three to five days or as long as 60 or 90 days; rehab stays are tailored to meet the needs of each individual patient.

During a rehabilitative stay, you can expect to attend group and individual therapy sessions, as well as special activities and outings that are structured to help you discover interests and hobbies, as well as giving you a sense of peace and positivity. After your time in inpatient rehab, you will be encouraged to continue with your treatment on an outpatient basis. This may look like having weekly or monthly meetings with a drug and alcohol counselor, taking prescribed medication-assisted-treatment medication such as Methadone and Suboxone and attending weekly NA or AA meetings.

12-Step programs

12-step programs have long been utilized by and are largely successful for many addicts, both for those battling alcohol addiction as well as those battling drug addiction. 12-step programs, at their core, work for so many people because of the strict structure and routine they provide. It’s well known that disorganization and chaos can lead to stress, and stress can lead to substance addiction and abuse. Remove the uncertainty factors from one’s life, and put in place a highly-regimented routine.

12-step programs are found in both inpatient and outpatient settings and can be practiced from the comfort of one’s home. Of course, part of a 12-step program is the socialization component, so if a 12-step is for you, make sure to find a local support group.


Acupuncture is an ancient medical treatment from Western medicine that utilizes needles placed in strategic areas of the body in order to stimulate those areas into releasing endorphins. The release of endorphins combats pain and also positively elevates mood.

In the treatment of substance abuse disorder, an increasing number of medical professionals are using acupuncture to help patients alleviate anxiety and stress and consequently treat their addiction. And if you are struggling with substance abuse due to chronic pain, you may find that acupuncture helps with that, too.

Holistic treatment

Holistic treatments are non-medical treatments that target both the mind and the body. Holistic substance abuse providers understand that addiction is often more of a mental challenge than a physical one, though physical conditions can certainly worsen the severity of one’s substance abuse disorder.

Common holistic treatments include meditation, to help patients achieve a sense of calm and serenity; acupuncture, which utilizes very thin needles to stimulate areas of the body; and yoga, gentle stretching and bending exercises that release endorphins and provide a sense of peace.



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