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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Drug Addiction and Other Treatment Options

Amidst the economic recession all over the globe, people should be aware of less expensive treatment options available for drug addiction. This condition is undoubtedly one of the major concerns of society. When a member of the family is dependent on drugs, his addictive behavior would affect all those around him.

The first treatment that we commonly resort to is to bring the person to a rehabilitation clinic. These institutions however, may not always be good for everyone.

What are these treatment options for drug addiction?

The following are considered as inexpensive and most effective:

1. Meditation

One common cause of addiction is stress and peer pressure. In meditation, stress is relieved through breathing exercises and mind-body intervention. According to Walton and Levitsky, "Meditation had been effective in reducing the use of addictive substances (marijuana, cocaine, etc) because of the biochemical and physiologic effects of meditation on serotonin and cortisol levels."

Serotonin is a substance that transmits and controls emotions while cortisol on the other hand, is a hormone stimulated by stress.

Meditation lowers these substances thereby reducing stress and anger, or over excitability. The supervision of a trained guru or an expert would ensure effectiveness of the procedure.


2. Relaxation


This is easier to do than meditation because meditation may tap into the consciousness of a psychotic mind. With relaxation, this danger is excluded. Progressive relaxation is easy to adapt and perform too. The patient has to feel comfortable with it and believe in its ability to "cure" him.

There are many types of relaxation therapy like the Jacobson's relaxation therapy and Wolpe's abbreviated progressive relaxation therapy to name a few. Both focus on group relaxation of muscles in 2-3 sessions or as needed.

Since relaxation acts on the autonomous nervous system, this will reduce the person's need for the substance of abuse. Just like meditation, serotonin and cortisol are involved in reducing cravings for the addictive substance.

3. Acupuncture

Acupuncture works by puncturing with a needle or applying pressure to focal points in the body. A puncture to the auricle of the ear would detoxify the body and would reduce the need for the substance of addiction.

4. Renewal of connection with your spirituality

When a person is deeply religious, his faith would prompt him to stop the use of drugs or of any substance of abuse.

Majority of religions frown upon addiction. Belonging to a supportive religious congregation will also be of great help for a drug addict to change for the better.

Researches have been done about the power of prayer therapy on drug addiction and results had proved to be promising.

These treatment options should be considered when dealing with addiction. Treatment is a very personal process.

Each individual should select the method that is best for him. Consistency and persistence are also needed to achieve success.

Reference Mosby's Complementary and Alternative Medicine: A Research-Based Approach, 2001

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