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Alternative Treatment


Addiction is a complex disease that affects many aspects of an individual’s life. A variety of modalities are used in professional addiction treatment to help patients find effective ways to resist cravings and maintain motivation over the long term. For patients who do not find standard talk therapy helpful for dealing with their addiction, alternative treatment is available in Tennessee that provides other options for their needs.

What Is Alternative Treatment for Addiction?

Standard therapy for addiction generally includes one-on-one sessions with a counselor, as well as group sessions that can be helpful for relating to others and understanding your own behavior. However, many patients in Tennessee do not relate well to the verbal self-analysis required for this type of treatment. For these patients, methods that allow them to explore their inner world in ways other than speech can be more effective. These methods allow patients to experience their emotions more directly, and provide a vehicle for understanding themselves in non-verbal ways.

Art therapy

Art therapy uses a variety of media to assist patients in acknowledging their addiction, in examining their motivations for substance abuse, and in learning how they can begin to restore their lives to sanity. Painting, sculpture, collage, and fabric arts are just a few ways patients learn about themselves and how they can relate to the larger world.

Music Therapy

Music has been used to calm the mind for thousands of years, and this quality can be used to help patients express their emotions, deal with stress, and achieve a more relaxed state of mind. Patients can engage in musical composition, singing, or playing simple instruments. Studies have even found that participating in a drum circle can help substance abuse patients deal with cravings and enhance their skills for interacting with others.

Restorative Yoga

One of the more unfortunate effects of addiction, is that individuals become alienated from their own bodies and natural feelings of wellbeing. Restorative yoga consists of specific physical positions that help patients learn to connect with their bodies in a way that also helps to calm the mind. Structured breathing exercises accompany the positions that help to relieve stress and encourage a serene state of mind.

Equine Therapy

Animals have been used in therapy for many years, because they have the ability of understanding and communicating without words. Horses are highly sensitive animals that are used in addiction therapy to assist patents in getting in touch with their deepest emotions, and re-learning how to be authentic in their dealings with others. This type of therapy can be useful for those who enjoy working with animals.


Acupuncture offers another option for addiction treatment. It is an ancient Asian technique that uses very fine needles inserted into specific points in the body to relieve pain and promote health. This method is used for a variety of medical conditions, and can be used to help patients in addiction treatment to achieve a state of deep relaxation and relief from cravings.

Are Alternative Treatments Effective?

A number of studies cited by the National Institutes of Health suggest that alternative treatment for addiction can be highly effective for the multiple needs of these patients. Studies indicate that many of these therapies assist patients not only in understanding their own emotions, but also help them re-learn the ability to relate well to other people, a skill that is often lost when in the throes of addiction.

Principles of Effective Treatment

Alternative treatment offers additional methods for patients to explore their inner feelings, understand their motivations, find relief from cravings, and learn positive ways to deal with other people. These treatments must fulfill the basic requirements of effective treatment for addiction, such as being flexible enough to serve individual needs, available for a long period of use, serve multiple needs of patients, and be able to be changed as the patients’ needs develop during the treatment process.

If you are struggling with addiction and believe alternative treatments might be helpful for you, contact a Tennessee treatment center today to learn more about your options.