Although the 12 step approach to rehabilitation and recovery is very well known as one of the oldest in the field of addiction, it is not for everyone. Fortunately, there are many non 12 step programs offering a different route to sustainable recovery that are extremely effective. Finding appropriate treatment for a highly individualized illness such as addiction is crucial in preparing someone for a successful life in recovery. For that reason, patients should be completely aligned with treatment methodologies they will take with them into recovery after rehabilitation.

For many people, the “our way or the highway” approach of 12 step can be alienating as it doesn’t fully take into account individual circumstances or beliefs. Addiction treatment has to resonate with a patient on a deep level as they have to make significant changes to overcome their illness. Increasingly, people seeking treatment are turning to a more holistic approach that incorporates mindfulness practices and complementary therapies in non 12 step programs.

Here we take a look at some of those complementary therapies and show how they work within the context of non 12 step rehab:

Mindfulness Practices of Yoga and Meditation

Many people become totally lost in addiction, some to the extent where they no longer recognize themselves. Finding their way back to the person they once were can be challenging and requires quieting the mind from the distractions of negative thoughts and feelings to find peace “in the moment.”

Both yoga and meditation focus on breathing, which allows patients in non 12 step programs to reduce the noise of a racing mind and find true relaxation. Mindfulness practices promote self-awareness by guiding individuals to focus on individual parts of their bodies, relaxing or stretching them in sequence until the whole body is relaxed (meditation) or has been stretched out (yoga). All the while, breathing is maintained in deep, slow breaths that lower the heart rate and sharpens the mind.

One of the main benefits of yoga and meditation is that patients can use what they’ve learned to protect them against relapse in a non 12 step recovery program.

Nutritional Awareness Education

Nutrition is extremely important and it is very true to say that “we are what we eat” in terms of how our diet impacts physical and emotional health. Someone with addiction is likely to have had poor eating habits for a prolonged period of time which reduces their physical and emotional fitness, making them susceptible to severe cravings to use drugs.

Poor nutrition perpetuates the cycle of dependence and addiction and so it makes sense that by improving it through education, significant strides towards recovery can be taken. Elevate believes that the mind and body are interconnected and that it is vital to introduce and maintain a healthy, balanced diet for a sustainable sobriety.

Art and Music Therapy

Someone struggling with substance use disorder is likely to have become withdrawn from those close to them. For many, the compulsive behavior that accompanies addiction is frightening and often beyond their comprehension. Rather than having to explain their behavior to others when they no longer have control, avoiding people altogether becomes the easier option.

Art and music therapy in a non 12 step recovery program is extremely successful in providing people with tools to express themselves in a different way. Finding the root cause of addiction is an explorative journey of personal discovery that patients are guided through in a holistic treatment program. Both art and music require a certain degree of introspection as well as expression, which is extremely beneficial for someone who has become trapped in their own world.

Massage Therapy

Addiction has a negative effect on a person’s mind, body, and spirit which become disconnected and fragmented. Therapeutic massage helps to improve overall wellbeing and bring patients back in tune with themselves by promoting relaxation, reducing stress, improving blood circulation and lessening chronic pain.

Someone who has struggled with prescription drugs for a chronic pain condition can find significant benefits from massage therapy. Finding an alternative to pain management that is safe and natural is an advantage for someone who has been treated for drug addiction, particularly if they have to continue to manage their symptoms in a non 12 step recovery program.

Exercise and Physical Fitness

Addiction takes its toll on a person’s body as well as their emotional and mental health. In Elevate non 12 step rehab, physical fitness is a cornerstone and we offer a wide range of activities including hiking, running, volleyball, basketball and gym-based fitness. When you take physical exercise, the body is flooded with endorphins which promote a pleasant, almost “high” feeling. This is valuable for someone who has come to rely on drugs for their mind-altering effects.

Improving physical fitness also acts as a confidence boost that empowers patients to continue with their sobriety. As someone’s physical shape begins to change in response to regular exercise, they regain control over their bodies. Introducing a daily fitness routine encourages patients with addiction to replace unhealthy behaviors with more positive and beneficial practices.

A Gentle Alternative to 12 Step

Elevate provides people with a non 12 step rehab approach to addiction treatment that is completely focused on the individual. Everyone has their own story to tell and there is no single solution for drug addiction which is what 12 step implies. Achieving sobriety is a challenging journey and people have to take their own time to make the changes they need in their lives. There should be nothing dictatorial about treatment or anything to suggest that it results from moral weakness, particularly in the 21st century.