If you or a loved one is struggling with or working to overcome a substance abuse disorder, you are certainly not alone. The U.S. government estimates that over 20 million Americans are dealing with a substance abuse issue at any given time, and many of them are also trying to get help and become healed. The most important for anyone who is struggling with and working to overcome a substance abuse disorder is to get help from people who know what they are doing, whether it is opiate rehab or treatment for a different addiction or alcohol dependence. However, once you are getting the medical and other professional treatment that you need, you can also work to heal yourself. In many cases, alternative therapies can support and enhance the professional treatment that you are getting for your substance abuse disorder.

There are many alternative therapies that are frequently recommended by medical professionals due to their proven effectiveness. This includes techniques like meditation and mindfulness techniques, which can be either taught by a professional therapist or practiced independently by someone who is working to heal themselves from their substance abuse disorder. Mindfulness and meditation both work to relieve stress for people, which can help them to avoid the temptations and deal with the challenges that can often lead people to relapse. While mindfulness and meditation alone may not be either for someone who needs medical treatment, they can be useful tools for people who are learning to live a more healthy lifestyle. They are also good techniques for people who have prior psychological or emotional problems and can help people who have issues with anger, compulsion, or other disorders.

Other alternative therapies can be emotionally helpful for people by introducing them to animal companions. Horse therapy is often recommended at rehabilitation retreats where people struggling with substance abuse issues can ride, groom, or simply walk with the animals. Working with dogs can also be good for emotional healing, and people who are struggling with a physical or emotional disability can often benefit from the emotional support of a canine companion. The act of taking care of an animal is often helpful for people who are feeling out of control, as it gives them a sense of responsibility, but it is also helpful for people dealing with depression and anxiety, as the animals will often provide an unconditional love and companionship that many people are lacking in their lives. Although there are many opportunities for individuals to receive professional animal therapy, people can also enjoy the companionship and affection of an animal on their own, provided they have the financial support and wherewithal to responsibly take care of an animal at this time.

Yoga is another alternative therapy that is both helpful to people who are struggling with substance abuse disorder as a treatment as well as a useful practice for people in all stages of life. There is evidence that yoga helps people to deal with stress, anxiety, and depression, which all are issues that often go hand-in-hand with addition and chemical dependence. At the same time, yoga is excellent for your physical health. For people who have had physical problems or lost muscle tone as a result of their addiction, yoga can combine the best of all kinds of treatment. It can also be done either in a group or in your own home, depending on your personal circumstances.

Finally, make sure that you do your research before you settle on an alternative therapy. Always consult with a medical doctor or other medical professionals before you try something that could be physically dangerous. Make sure that any practitioner that you work with knows what they are talking about. Ask questions like Do you know what prescription opiates are and how they affect your body? Are you familiar with the latest understanding of the difference between addiction and dependence, and how does that inform your treatment procedures? How many people have tried your therapy and what have their results been? For professionals in the field of substance abuse, it is essential that they are both familiar with the science behind addiction and the latest research that has been done on the most effective treatments. With support from professionals and your own hard work, you or your loved one can overcome the challenges of substance abuse disorder and start to heal today.