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Alternative Recovery Methods for Those Battling Addiction

The Fight’s Not Over

The principles and practices of mainstream 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous work for only one-third of their participants. Many who try these programs are often left feeling hopeless in their fight against substance abuse. However, if conventional programs haven’t worked for you, the fight’s not over. Motivation Thoughts encourages you to try out these alternative recovery methods that could very well help you defeat your addiction.

Alternative Programs

There are several secular programs that emphasize self-empowerment through support groups. SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training) applies cognitive behavioral therapy and teaches that addiction can be overcome by rational thought. SOS and LifeRing are programs that teach self-help and hold complete abstinence as the number one priority — ”no matter what.”

Women for Sobriety is an organization that focuses on providing women with a safe and nurturing environment, and its 13 principles emphasize personal responsibility and positive thinking. Both are great options for those who don’t mesh with the 12-step philosophy.

Alternative Treatments

If it doesn’t look like a program of any kind is your thing, that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you don’t want to get better. The inconsistent success of rehab programs has been a concern for some time now, and there are various non-program treatments available that can help in your battle with substance abuse. For instance, meditation can help regulate mood and lower levels of cortisol (the “stress hormone”). Practicing mindfulness is also a way for substance abusers to confront their thoughts and feelings, which is a vital step toward overcoming addiction.

Art and music therapy are other ways to aid your recovery. The creative process of drawing, painting, or playing an instrument has been known to help recovering addicts come through the other side of depression, anxiety, and anger. Pet therapy, gardening, acupuncture, and many other treatments have also been known to be effective.

When to Avoid Alternative Methods

One important step in finding effective recovery methods is doing your research. While there are many new legitimate treatments, there are just as many questionable and ungrounded ones. Research and talk to people with experience to make sure the program or treatment you’re considering is validated. If it seems sketchy and will require your life savings, chances are you should avoid it. Also, avoid programs or treatments that could lead you back to addiction.

The Importance of Exercise

No matter what program or treatment you decide to try, exercise is sure to be a supplement. When done consistently and with common sense, it holds countless benefits for your body and mind, and it’s one of the best overall things you can do for yourself during recovery. Exercise helps heal the body and mind and promotes positive self-image.

While working out by yourself is beneficial (such as going for a run or exercising to a video on YouTube), doing it with others is even more so because it’s a great way to form new friendships and build community. Consider joining a fitness and nutrition class at the gym or signing up for a recreational basketball team. Look into kickboxing, yoga, or some of the many other classes available. Start small if you have to — even if it’s walking for 15 minutes a day. Don’t overthink. Just get started.

When to Consider Inpatient Facilities

While some people find their strength through alternative recovery methods, others need the help of more traditional treatment at some point during their recovery journey. If you are at a point where alternative approaches like mindfulness, exercise, or peer support groups are not enough, don’t be afraid to seek inpatient help. There are free inpatient rehab centers available that can provide you with a structured framework and therapies that have been shown to work time and time again. As addiction is a complex disease, it is essential to seek out professional help when dealing with substance abuse, and traditional treatment options offer the best chance for success.

Find Your Footing with Alternative Methods

If conventional programs haven’t been effective in your battle against addiction, it doesn’t mean you can’t win. Look into alternative programs that offer a similar structure with a different approach. Consider treatments like meditation, art therapy, and others. Remember to research to make sure each method is validated. Whatever path you take, get a healthy fitness routine in place. Remember: The fight’s not over, and there’s always a way to win.

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