There are many approaches to substance abuse. Many people find that the best way to do it is through faith that God will give you the strength to overcome your addiction. Other people believe that the best approach is simply to make a decision. Still others believe that the only way to handle substance addiction is through the use of science, taking prescription drugs to allow you to avoid the withdrawal symptoms that come with freeing yourself from drugs. Though there are many approaches that address many issues, there are very few programs that address the physical, spiritual, and social aspects of recovering from drug or alcohol addiction.
What Addiction Is
Substance addiction is defined as being reliant upon drugs (with the intent of getting a physical and emotional reaction known as being high) to the point that one compulsively seeks out the substance and the use of it has started to affect his life (in the social world, personal world, and work world).
When one takes a foreign substance such as drugs or alcohol into his body, he alters the way his body would naturally work. One’s brain naturally releases measured amounts of certain chemicals that make him feel happy. Drugs cause large amounts of these chemicals to be released at once, and some drugs can even mimic the effect of the chemicals. Over time, the user’s brain will become reliant on the drugs to initiate the release of the chemicals. It makes it more difficult for him to stop using the drugs because when he doesn’t have the drugs, his brain doesn’t release the “happy” chemicals.
Why Some Rehab Approaches Don’t Work
Researched has discovered that traces of drugs can be stored in the fatty tissues of the body. Because the drugs attach to the fat and stay in the system, a person may suffer from them long after he stops using. The drugs can be released into the bloodstream in miniscule amounts, enough to trigger cravings for the drug and tempt the individual to start using again.
As mentioned above, there are a lot of programs that address many aspects of substance addiction. The problem is that they only treat aspects of it, instead of treating the entirety of what the problem is.
The Holistic Approach
If something is holistic, that means that it has to do with an entirety or everything about something, rather than individual parts of it. A holistic approach to substance abuse then covers all aspects of substance abuse. It addresses the physical problems that one has when dealing with substance addiction, whether it is drugs or alcohol. It addresses the spiritual aspect, where each person will have his own strong beliefs. It also addresses the social aspect of things, where one can handle upsets created with friends, family, coworkers, etc. These three things must be present in a holistic approach in order to allow the person to fully handle and recover from his addiction in a permanent manner.
The holistic approach is based on the idea that addiction stems from an imbalance in life. There is a much deeper problem that led to the addiction. The addiction is not the true problem, merely a symptom of a much greater illness. Following this theory, if one was to handle the greater imbalance, he would be able to survive better and not need the drugs anymore. From there, it is up to him the best way to re-establish the balance.
There are many different kinds of holistic treatments. They include meditation, which allows you to further explore who you are, where your problems stem from, and how to handle them; acupuncture, which is a physical technique that also allows the individual to have great self-realizations; hypnosis, which allows a person to remove inhibitions by removing his consciousness and worry about the consequences of his thoughts, feelings or words, nutritional therapy, which is especially helpful with the physical aspect of healing, and many more.
 National Institute on Health: Drug residues store in the body following cessation of use: impacts on neuroendocrine balance and behavior–use of the Hubbard sauna regimen to remove toxins and restore health: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17045758