ADDICTION TREATMENT: A HOLISTIC APPROACH by D.J. Diebold, CAC, LISAC
There are a number of factors that contribute to the development of addictive behaviors, such as early childhood trauma, family history and environment.
Early childhood trauma includes sexual and/or physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect or abandonment. Mental illnesses that often accompany addiction are learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety and a multitude of others. These are known as co-occurring disorders. Addictions are often developed through an attempt to alleviate these illnesses.
Numerous studies have consistently found that adults with mental illness often become dependent on or abuse alcohol and illicit drugs. We’ve also found a genetic link that has passed down certain factors and tendencies towards addiction. Some develop addictions at an early age and never learn to cope with adversity, thereby propagating their addictive behavior. As these individuals grow older, these behaviors become more deeply rooted and their addiction grows stronger until it becomes impossible to satisfy. The individual no longer uses for pleasure, but to “get well”.
Addiction destroys a human being on every level of their existence. It ravages them mentally, emotionally and spiritually, leaving them virtually drowning in a sea of loneliness and despair.
Many individuals completely lose hope in their ability to kick their addiction. They lose hope in their higher power and their life becomes a seeming string of failures that eventually leads to total resignation to their addiction and their pain. It only makes sense to end the pain, which leads the hopeless to suicidal thoughts and behaviors that call out for attention and treatment.
The destruction of the physical body from drug and alcohol abuse becomes obvious. Addiction stresses all of the body’s systems and can often lead to organic brain syndrome. In lay terms, this is brain damage.
Today’s drug of choice appears to be meth amphetamine. This is a powerful form of “speed” that is inhaled, injected or most commonly smoked. It cranks up the central nervous system and metabolism. This drug can be manufactured in the home in makeshift labs. One of the primary ingredients in the making of this drug is psuedoephedrine. This can be found in common, over the counter cold medications. The sale of which is now being restricted by many states. This addiction is very powerful and can take years to combat its effects.
The holistic approach includes assessment, detox, individual and group counseling, family therapy, meditation, spirituality, bio-feedback, recreation, fun, daily support groups, fellowship (AA, OA, Na, etc.) physical fitness and nutritional information.