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Alternative Treatments

Alternative Treatments

Effective addiction treatment requires an individual plan that serves the needs of each patient. Group and individual counseling, along with cognitive behavioral therapy, have become the standard modalities for helping patients with substance abuse problems. However, alternative treatments are available in New Mexico that can provide additional help for some individuals.

What Is Alternative Addiction Treatment?

Alternative addiction treatments are methods that are outside the traditional modalities used in standard treatment programs. These methods may include a variety of measures, such as meditative practice, yoga, chiropractic manipulation, dance, music or art. These therapies have been found to increase self-awareness and have soothing qualities that help patients deal with cravings and stress.

How Alternative Therapies Help Addiction Patients

Some individuals do not respond to standard methods of treatment, such as group therapy. They may dislike airing their emotions in a group setting, or may feel too vulnerable when doing so. Other individuals find that individual therapy, talking about themselves to a counselor, is boring and unenlightening. These individuals may be good candidates for alternative treatment in New Mexico that use other methods to increase patients’ self-awareness and ability to understand and deal with emotions.

Alternative Therapy Options

Art Therapy

Engaging in artistic activities can have a beneficial effect on addiction patients on a number of levels. It is not only a calming, but also increases self-expression and self-knowledge, so that these patients can deal with emotional issues that contribute to their problem.

Music Therapy

In research studies, music therapy has been found to be effective in helping patients with addiction problems increase their motivation and engagement in the treatment process. Even simple drumming can have a calming effect that helps with cravings and increases group interaction.

Restorative Yoga

Addicted individuals often lose touch with their own bodies and how they feel in a natural state. When normal feelings return, it may be overwhelming and produce tension and discomfort. Restorative yoga positions help patients to become accustomed to their normal body reactions and aids in reducing stress through breathing exercises.

Equine Therapy

Working with animals increases addiction patients’ ability to empathize with others and be honest in their own reactions. Horses have proven to be particularly helpful in encouraging patients to make their external reactions match their internal feelings.


Science provides another method for helping patients deal with stress reactions, anxiety and cravings that continue to occur after treatment. This type of therapy uses electronic equipment that measures physical reactions and allows the patient to control these reactions.


Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese method of promoting health through the use of very fine needles, inserted into the body at specific points that will increase beneficial responses. Acupuncture can help addiction patients to deal with stress and cravings, when they occur.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is a relatively new treatment for addiction that uses manipulation of the spine and nerves to increase physical well-being in patients. It can help to increase physical comfort and help them deal with stress.

Principles of Effective Treatment

Therapies must fulfill the basic principles for effective treatment of addiction, such as:

  • No treatment is effective for all individuals. Alternative therapies offer a variety of methods.
  • They must be readily available.
  • They must be flexible.
  • They must attend to multiple needs of the patient.
  • They must be done for a period of time to ensure that they help.
  • They must be able to be combined with other therapies.
  • They must support the patient’s medical and psychological treatment.

If you think an alternative therapy could help you overcome your addiction, contact a treatment facility today to discuss options that can help you restore your life to normalcy.