Traditional clinical treatment methods, such as psychotherapy and medication, have always been the go-to for addiction treatment. In recent years, however, non-clinical methods have been gaining popularity. Becoming familiar with non-clinical methods for treating substance use disorder (SUD) and addiction can help individuals best advocate for themselves throughout their treatment and recovery journey.
Clinical vs. Non-clinical Treatments
Clinical treatment is usually any type of treatment that takes place in a clinical setting or with licensed clinicians. Inpatient detox, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), outpatient programs, and most psychotherapy interventions are considered clinical treatments.
SUD is a complex disease that requires professional treatment to overcome. Many individuals who struggle with severe addictions will need to utilize various clinical treatments to establish and maintain their sobriety. However, the use of clinical treatments alone is not enough for lasting recovery from SUD. Likewise, utilizing non-clinical treatments and lifestyle changes will enhance the effectiveness of clinical treatment.
Non-clinical treatments are services that do not intend to treat a specific disease or symptom. Rather, they work to strengthen various aspects of an individual’s health and well-being. Activities like exercise, healthy eating, meditation, and even journaling can all be considered non-clinical forms of treatment. These methods can help bring structure to an individual’s life and help them replace harmful habits with healthy alternatives.
Exercise and Nature
Exercise is one of the best complementary activities that individuals can incorporate into a new and healthy recovery lifestyle. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that regular exercise can help prevent and treat chronic illnesses. As addiction is considered a chronic condition, adding exercise to one’s treatment plan can be instrumental for their healing.
The CDC also states that you can even experience the benefits of exercise right after a single session. These benefits can include the following:
- Improved thinking and cognition
- Improved learning skills
- Improved judgment skills
- Improved sleep
- Reduced risk and symptoms of depression and anxiety
Additionally, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), being outside in nature is relaxing and can reduce stress. It’s no secret that addiction recovery can often be a stressful journey. The USDA states that there are “many mental wellness benefits associated with being outside in green spaces.” These benefits can include lowering the risk of depression and faster psychological stress recovery, which is extremely important for those in treatment.
Incorporating a healthy and active lifestyle that utilizes the benefits of nature can foster greater clarity, confidence, and structure for those in addiction treatment.
A holistic approach to addiction treatment considers the “whole” person. This includes mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Holistic care may include practices like meditation, mindfulness, sound healing, and exercises in self-development.
Oftentimes, when a person is going through addiction recovery, they have a negative view of self that stemmed from years of substance abuse. Holistic methods can help an individual overcome negative self-views and additional underlying factors that have contributed to the development of their addiction. Likewise, these practices encourage individuals to seek deeper meaning and purpose for sobriety.
Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness are two holistic practices that help you detach from negativity in your mind and focus on the present moment. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), practices like meditation and mindfulness “may help people recover from substance use disorders” by helping people “increase their awareness of the thoughts and feelings that trigger cravings and learn ways to reduce their automatic reactions to cravings.” Meditation and mindfulness can help reduce anxiety, foster energy, and improve mood.
Journaling and Self-Exploration
Exercises in self-exploration can help individuals heal from addiction in profound ways. Journaling is a great tool for individuals to learn more about themselves throughout recovery. This practice can help individuals to strengthen their confidence, release old traumas and wounds, and find a way to forgive themselves for the pain they may hold inside.
Everyone’s addiction recovery journey is unique, so it’s important to find methods and tools that are personalized. Don’t be afraid to try new things. It is important to honor individual needs throughout treatment to ensure lasting success in long-term recovery.
Non-clinical Treatment at Lighthouse Recovery Texas
At Lighthouse Recovery Texas, our curriculum is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Our programs are tailored to each individual’s unique needs, taking their history, goals, and current state into account.
Lighthouse’s comprehensive treatment approach combines both clinical and non-clinical methods to give individuals the fullest spectrum of care possible. We utilize various therapy modalities to help individuals overcome their triggers and guide them along a profound journey of self-exploration and healing.
Every client at Lighthouse gets matched with a recovery coach that will help them stay accountable. Our highly-trained clinicians and staff will help individuals design a treatment plan that can incorporate non-clinical methods, such as exercise and meditation. We are dedicated to providing care that helps our clients feel confident in themselves and their sobrieties as they transition back into daily life following treatment.
A comprehensive approach that utilizes both clinical and non-clinical methods is necessary to treat addiction. Non-clinical methods like exercise, getting fresh air, meditation, and self-exploration can help you build a comprehensive treatment plan as you begin your journey toward sobriety. At Lighthouse Recovery Texas, we employ both clinical and non-clinical methods to comprehensively treat addiction. Our custom-built curriculum is completely tailored to the individual, taking into account your unique goals and needs. Lighthouse fosters strong community and peer support through small group programming. Each group at Lighthouse contains no more than eight people which will allow you to truly have your voice heard. For more information, call us today at (214) 396-0259.