How Alternative Medicine Can Help People Struggling with Addiction

Addiction can be a tough disorder to treat, even if you’re getting the care and medical attention that you need. You may be fortunate enough to have found inpatient addiction treatment Indiana at a trusted facility, in which case your chances of success are good. Traditional approaches to treating substance abuse are often successful, especially if the patient is committed to getting better and has the structure necessary to rebuild his or her life. However, experts now recommend looking into alternative medicines to complement the traditional therapies and treatments that are used. There are many types of alternatives to consider and some are more useful than others. Here are a few of the most effective treatments available from the world of alternative medicine.


While you may think of meditation as some sort of spiritual practice for people who are trying to find enlightenment, meditation has many practical applications as well. One of the most common types of meditation that’s practiced by people who are struggling with substance abuse is mindfulness meditation. This type of meditation does not try to help your ego escape from the world, but it does allow you to be more aware of yourself and your surroundings. Mindfulness meditation helps people become more relaxed and comfortable in their own skin. A study at the University of Washington in 2014 found that people who practiced mindfulness meditation were less likely to have relapsed within a year of leaving treatment than other people who used more conventional forms of treatment alone. Meditation can easily be added to your day and it can be practiced at any time or place, giving you a tool that you can use for the rest of your life.


Countless studies have already shown the benefits of exercising, both for your physical and emotional health. Exercising can increase levels of serotonin in the brain, which helps to control and regulate one’s emotions and improve happiness. People who are struggling with addiction often have difficulties with serotonin production and regulation. That’s why many people are diagnosed with an underlying condition like depression, which is called a dual diagnosis. By helping to deal with the underlying depression, anxiety, or other negative emotions, exercising regularly makes it easier to stay sober and deal with your addiction. Many treatment facilities encourage exercise as part of a regular, healthy routine. Some people find that practicing yoga is particularly useful, perhaps because it combines the best of both exercise and meditation when done right.

Pet Therapy

One exciting development in the field of alternative medicine and different types of addiction treatment is the use of pet and other animal therapy. Studies have shown that spending time with animals can have many of the same effects as mindfulness therapy. This may be because of the relationship that can develop between a person and an animal that they are caring for. Spending time with animals also teaches patience, which is a crucial skill when it comes to personal self-improvement. Finally, studies that looked at the result of spending time with animals have shown that it can lower blood pressure and improve one’s mood. Like exercise, pet therapy can help a person become more healthy overall, which allows them to work on their sobriety in a safe, supported way.


Unlike the other alternatives listed above, there aren’t any scientific studies yet to back up the use of acupuncture for someone struggling with substance abuse. However, there is a good deal of anecdotal evidence that acupuncture can help people deal with the pain that they are experiencing when struggling with substance abuse. Acupuncture is an ancient alternative medicine and has been practiced for thousands of years since its invention in China. It works, supposedly, by inserting thin needles into special pressure points that exist all over the human body. Stimulating these points is said to bring health to various parts of the human body. People who use acupuncture say that it helps them to cope with pain, reduce stress, improve their sleep, and help with mental focus. While these claims aren’t proven, anything that makes a person more comfortable is helpful for people working to overcome addiction. If acupuncture doesn’t appeal to you, acupressure is said to have similar results, without the needles.

People struggling with substance abuse can look to a variety of tools to help them. Each person will benefit from different techniques. That’s why it’s worth exploring all alternative treatments.