What Is Holistic Addiction Treatment?

The amount of individuals experiencing substance use disorders continues to grow within the United States. In 2020, approximately 37.3 million individuals, over the age of 11, reported that they illegally engaged in substance use. (1) In 2021, approximately 61.2 million individuals, over the age of 11, reported that they engaged in the use of a substance within a 12 month period. (2) The amount of individuals diagnosed with a substance use disorder in 2020 was approximately 40.3 million individuals. (3) The number of individuals meeting the diagnostic criteria for a substance use disorder increased to approximately 46.3 million individuals the next year. (4) With substance use being widespread throughout the United States, many individuals may be unaware of the available treatment options, such as holistic addiction treatment. 


Here at New Pathway Counseling, we offer various comprehensive treatment, including several holistic options. With services including medically assisted treatment, intensive outpatient, telehealth, and an adolescent program, New Pathway Counseling is dedicated to helping those experiencing substance use disorders restore their mind, body, and spirit. Utilizing the SOARFIT model and 12-Step philosophy, we help provide the tools necessary for long lasting sobriety. Contact us today to start your pathway to recovery. 

Healing the Mind & Body as a Whole

Holistic addiction treatment is a therapeutic approach that focuses on treating the individual as a whole, not just the symptoms that they are experiencing. Holistic treatment approaches help restore an individual’s physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health. Holistic approaches integrate the mind, body, and spirit into the treatment plan. Holistic addiction treatment does not replace traditional treatment options, but it is often used in addition to traditional treatment approaches. 


Here at New Pathway Counseling, we address addiction holistically through the following methods: 

  • Physically – Through the use of medication assisted treatment and clinical care, we tackle the physical needs of the body, such as improving nutritional deficits and helping reduce the negative symptoms associated with withdrawal. 
  • Mentally and emotionally – Through the use of therapeutic interventions, such as our outpatient, intensive outpatient, and adolescent day program we can help individuals develop adaptive coping techniques to improve their mental and emotional well-being. 
  • Socially – Utilizing group therapy and family support and participation, we can help individuals develop a sense of community and belongingness. 
  • Spiritually – Through the use of spiritual guidance, meditation and mindfulness, we can help foster growth to an individual’s spirit. 

Integrating Alternative Therapies in Substance Abuse & Addiction Treatment

The use of alternative therapeutic options for the treatment of substance use and dependence has grown throughout the past few decades. Research has found that complementary therapies, such as mindfulness meditation and yoga, are able to increase recovery outcomes. (5) This is due to holistic treatment options targeting negative cognitions, emotions, behaviors, and cravings. 


Alternative holistic therapeutic options that are effective in treating substance use disorders include:

  • Yoga therapy
  • Mindfulness and meditation
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage therapy
  • Nutrition therapy 

Nutrition & Exercise & Their Role in Holistic Addiction Recovery

Substance use can negatively affect an individual’s nutritional health. Depending on the severity of an individual’s substance use disorder, addiction can lead to an inadequate diet and malnutrition. (6) Research has found that there is a link in the brain’s reward system between appetite and addiction. Additionally, those who experience substance use may not engage in regular exercise. Research has found that exercising regularly is effective in treating substance use disorders. (7) Here at New Pathway Counseling, we are able to utilize the principles of nutrition therapy to help individuals understand the impact that nutrition has on an individual and develop healthy nutritional and physical practices. 

How Meditation & Mindfulness Can Aid in Finding Inner Peace

Mindfulness is the act of being in a state of mental awareness. Practicing mindfulness helps individuals learn how to be present in the here and now. Mindfulness helps individuals develop skills needed to control impulsive behaviors and reduce negative thoughts and feelings. 


Mediation and mindfulness are practices that go hand in hand with one another. Meditation is a practice that focuses on clearing the mind. There are different types of meditation practices, including guided meditation, mindfulness meditation, mantra meditation, spiritual meditation, and focused meditation. 


Benefits of utilizing meditation and mindfulness for those seeking addiction recovery include: (8)

  • Reducing symptoms associated with depression and anxiety and other mental health symptoms. 
  • Lowering high blood pressure.
  • Improving an individual’s quality of sleep.
  • Helping an individual stay grounded and present in the moment.

The Effectiveness of Art & Music Therapy

Art and music therapy have been used for years to help individuals recover from mental health disorders, substance use disorders, and physical pain. Artistic forms of therapy have been found to help individuals develop the ability to cope with various life stressors. (9) 


Benefits of utilizing art and music therapy during addiction treatment include: (10) 

  • Reducing negative thoughts and feelings.
  • Aiding with stress management.
  • Promoting an individual’s overall wellness.
  • Improving assertive communication techniques.
  • Helping with physical pain and rehabilitation.  
  • Enhancing memory and cognitive abilities.  
  • Providing a healthy outlet for individuals to be able to express their emotions. 

Healing Through Nature Utilizing Outdoor Activities

Utilizing nature and outdoor activities are common holistic practices when treating substance use disorders. Research has found that spending at least 120 minutes per week outdoors can help increase one’s physical and mental health. (11) 


Benefits of utilizing nature and outdoor activities during substance use treatment include: (12) 

  • Improving one’s breathing. 
  • Improving an individual’s quality of sleep.
  • Reducing symptoms associated with depressive disorders.
  • Increasing one’s motivation to engage in exercise.
  • Improving one’s mental energy and capacity. 
  • Boosting one’s immune system function. 
  • Improving an individual’s sense of emotional well-being.

Holistic Approaches to Relapse Prevention

Relapse occurs when an individual resumes their substance use after a period of sobriety. Relapse rates are approximately 80 to 95 percent during the first year following treatment. (13) Approximately two-thirds of individuals who received addiction treatment relapse at some point. (14) Here at New Pathway Counseling, we offer relapse prevention sessions and psychoeducation to help reinforce the techniques needed to maintain sobriety over time. 

Focusing on Healing Trauma & Its Connection to Recovery

Holistic treatment options can help individuals get to the root of their substance use. Focusing on healing the trauma related to one’s life and substance use can help individuals continue their sobriety long-term. Working through and processing any triggers that may exacerbate an individual’s substance use disorder are crucial for the recovery process. 

Finding Meaning, Connection, & Purpose Through Spirituality in Holistic Addiction Treatment

The term spirituality differs from religious spirituality in addiction treatment. Spirituality often refers to an individual’s connection with themselves and the world around them. Spirituality helps individuals develop deeper meanings to their life. Spirituality can help individuals find meaning, connection, and purpose in their life, which can be great motivation during the treatment process. Here at New Pathway Counseling, we utilize the 12-step philosophy, which includes a spiritual component.

Start Your Pathway to Recovery

 If you suspect that you or someone you love are experiencing a substance use disorder, attending treatment is the most effective way to overcome it. Here at New Pathway Counseling, we offer a wide array of evidence-based treatment and outpatient options. Contact us today to receive a free, no obligation insurance benefits check to determine which of our treatment options is covered by your health insurance coverage plan. Start your pathway to recovery today.

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