There has been plenty of media coverage of late about the large and growing opioid crisis that has gripped the United States. There’s been coverage that highlights the complicity of the pharmaceutical industry, the tendency to overprescribe by doctors, and the economic costs associated with the scourge.
The problem has become so widespread that even the government has declared it a public health emergency.
Unfortunately, despite the attention that’s been given to the crisis itself, there’s been a dearth of conversation regarding treatment and recovery for those who have already become addicted. The fact that it’s such a widespread problem has made tackling it a challenge. In order to provide care to the millions of individuals that have become addicted to or have abused opioids, a holistic approach to recovery is both desirable and necessary.
Breaking the Habit
The first step in a holistic recovery program is the most well-known. It begins with a detoxification phase that will allow the chemical compounds that are causing the addiction to leave the body. This often results in withdrawal symptoms which can be uncomfortable for the patient and requires careful attention from rehabilitation professionals to complete.
This is a vital step because the power of the addiction starts with the effect that the drug has on the body and it can’t be addressed until the patient is able to comfortably live without their drug of choice.
Addressing the Root of the Problem
Part of the great challenge that comes with treating addiction is finding a way to determine and address the root causes of the patient’s desire to abuse a substance in the first place.
In many cases, the addicted person may have been dealing with an underlying depression or mental health issue that they were trying to address—albeit in an unhealthy way. It’s important to help the addict learn to live a better life and to teach coping skills that can help to replace the urge to relapse.
This is the most crucial part of the healing process. It’s fair to say that in most cases, addiction is the symptom rather than the disease. Recovery depends on empowering the patient to be in control of their own destiny.
Companies such as Elevate Addiction Services has been a pioneer in this area of treatment. Dan Manson, Elevate’s CEO, has long recognized that long-term success in addiction recovery means that the patient must take charge of their own outcome. He says, “We treat people in a way that brings the power back to themselves.” Put into action, this means that the real solution is to heal the patient physically, spiritually, and mentally. It’s the only way to end the cycle of chemical dependence.
Support for Life
A holistic approach to addiction recovery means that the treatment results in a whole lifestyle change for the patient. It takes a variety of forms and gives those in recovery the tools they need for lifelong success in their battle against addiction.
Options include health and wellness programs, exercise and fitness training, and ongoing counseling and mental health support. Maintaining a positive environment long after treatment goes a long way towards preventing relapses which is the true measure of successful addiction treatment.
Sadly, it seems that the opioid crisis in the United States is likely to get worse before it gets better. The good news is that there are caring and compassionate professionals that stand ready to assist those in need. The latest holistic recovery techniques are providing a ray of hope in an otherwise bleak public health situation. After all, the treatment of the afflicted is the real key to ending our opioid addiction crisis once and for all.