Get help today 888-744-0069 or sign up for 24/7 text support.
American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

Holistic Addiction Treatment

Holistic addiction treatment centers are an option for individuals seeking a drug and alcohol rehab program that incorporates the health of the mind and body. The term holistic rehab is used to describe alcohol and drug treatment programs that offer unique treatment approaches distinct from more traditional rehab centers.

Read on to learn more about holistic rehab centers, the services and approaches involved in holistic rehab, holistic rehab vs. traditional rehab, the benefits of holistic treatment centers, holistic aftercare, and how to pay for and find holistic addiction treatment programs.

What Is a Holistic Rehab Center?

The services provided in a holistic drug rehab facility derive from holistic or integrative medicine and are utilized to achieve optimal wellness by focusing on the concept of a unified mind-body-spirit; with goals for treating the “whole person” and not just the individual symptoms of the substance use disorder.

As part of a holistic approach to addiction, most holistic rehabs utilize complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practices, such as:

  • Acupuncture.
  • Yoga.
  • Stretching.
  • Breathwork.
  • Meditation.
  • Nutritional interventions.

Frequently, these techniques are superimposed onto or incorporated into a framework of more traditional substance misuse treatment approaches. For some, there is more to alcohol and drug rehabilitation than maintained abstinence and therapy sessions.

Holistic recovery centers provide alternative treatments to a more standard rehab atmosphere and therefore are an attractive option for many. You may be able to find a holistic alcohol or drug rehab center near you that caters to the needs of a specific population, such as holistic alcohol or drug treatment for women, holistic rehab facilities for those who identify as LGBTQ+, or non-12-step rehab centers.

What Traditional Services Can Be Part of Holistic Addiction Treatment?

Many holistic drug and alcohol treatment programs operate with a holistically augmented framework of more traditional treatment approaches in place. Some of the traditional services found at holistic drug rehabs can include:

Holistic Approaches to Rehabilitation

According to the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine (AIHM), there are a number of holistic rehabilitation approaches that can be utilized for the treatment of any person.1 These include:

  • Acupuncture.
  • Ayurveda—Ayurvedic medicine incorporates meditation, yoga, and specific dietary guidelines to nurture a singular mind-body-spirit.
  • Chiropractic care.
  • Guided imagery.
  • Herbal therapy—Herbal supplementation can augment healthy nutrition and be strategically utilized to detoxify and diminish unhealthy cravings.
  • Homeopathy—Many homeopathic remedies can be used to supplement more traditional pharmacotherapeutic management of the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal.
  • Massage—Massage therapy can provide a relaxing adjunct to treatment, providing stress relief and soothing aches and pains as the body adjusts to a drug-free state.
  • Meditation.
  • Naturopathic medicine.
  • Nutritional interventions.
  • Reiki—The harnessing of universal life force energy to begin a process of physical healing and increase relaxation. It can be helpful in alleviating some of the physical symptoms of withdrawal.

Holistic practitioners stress that our bodies have an innate healing ability, and many of the techniques described above are tools to help unlock that potential. This healing philosophy applies to issues of substance misuse and alcohol and drug addiction as well. Patients are encouraged to reclaim control of their lives and take responsibility for their health and addiction recovery in holistic treatment programs. An individual who chooses a holistic addiction treatment program can expect to be exposed to some or all of these types of therapies during the recovery process.

Holistic Rehab vs. Traditional Rehab

More traditional approaches to recovery place emphasis on evidence-based clinical interventions to treat substance use disorders. Patients can expect to undergo a period of detoxification and managed withdrawal (when necessary), to be followed by regular participation in individual and group therapy sessions, sober skills training, and plans for continued recovery post-treatment.

In programs that employ a more holistic approach to alcohol and drug treatment, patients can potentially experience a more relaxed environment, as their emphasis is more on self-discovery and utilizing tools to enable the body to begin a natural process of healing and recovery.

Traditional rehabs typically use a variety of prescribed medications to usher a patient through a difficult and/or unpleasant period of detoxification and withdrawal. Later, they can institute a program of medically-assisted recovery, when another set of prescribed medicines can help modify cravings or limit the rewards associated with continued drug or alcohol use.

Types of Holistic Rehab Settings

Since no two people are alike, everyone’s journey to sobriety is unique. One thing that is essential, though, is to receive an adequate amount of treatment time, regardless of whether it is holistic or traditional. When entering a treatment program, you will begin with the intake process. During intake, an addiction specialist will administer an assessment to determine which treatment is best for you. Once the evaluation is complete, you will begin some or all of the services and treatment programs offered. These may include:

Holistic Detox Center

Holistic substance misuse treatment practitioners adhere to the belief that the optimal method of alcohol and drug detox is to minimize the introduction of new chemicals or medications to the body and embark on a period of cleansing. This is achieved through consuming healthy food and pure water, as well as herbal supplementation.

Therefore, a person enrolled in a holistic addiction treatment center might encounter a similar period of drug or alcohol withdrawal but—in situations safe to proceed in this manner—more natural measures such as herbal remedies, nutritional support, rest, and massage therapy can be used to mitigate the discomfort of the detoxification process.

With proper supervision, a holistic detox can equate to a less taxing and potentially expedited withdrawal period than that of detox attempted on your own at home or with the use of more standard, long-term prescription medications. More medications, holistic practitioners maintain, can equate to lengthier periods of toxicity and only postpone the experience and full benefits of being completely drug-free.

Holistic Inpatient Rehab

Holistic inpatient rehab is 24/7 treatment that incorporates behavioral therapy and mental health care.2 Some inpatient rehabs involve long-term residential care, which is 6 to 12 months of treatment based on a therapeutic community model.3 A short-term residential care is 3- to 6-week hospital-based inpatient treatment.3

Holistic Outpatient Treatment

Holistic outpatient treatment provides a customized treatment plan for therapy and involves living at home and visiting a center for treatment. Outpatient care may allow patients to continue with their usual work, school, and/or family responsibilities. You may be in a more intensive outpatient program (IOP) or participate in sessions once a week.2

Benefits of Holistic Treatment Centers

Individuals in search of an addiction treatment program that helps them achieve optimal wellness by focusing on a unified mind-body-spirit would likely find many benefits in choosing a holistic treatment center. Other benefits may include:

  • Focus on the health of the mind and the body.
  • Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practices.
  • Unique, alternative treatment approaches, different from traditional rehab centers.
  • Varied approaches for pain and healing, e.g. chiropractic care, massage, etc.
  • Improved ways to manage stress.
  • Emphasis on treating the whole person.
  • A relaxed environment to work on healing and recovery.
  • Focus on physical activity and movement.

Is Holistic Alcohol and Drug Rehab the Right Choice for Me?

Many believe that holistic practitioners’ approach to healing stems from a spiritual or even religious point of view and that holistic techniques will have little benefit for someone who doesn’t adhere to such beliefs. This isn’t necessarily the case—if you can embrace the belief in an interconnectedness of mind, body, and spirit and see a benefit in a more natural approach to allowing your body and mind begin its own healing process, holistic rehab might be a highly effective option. At holistic addiction recovery centers, the many facets and tools used with a holistic approach can be modified and adapted to fit any individual’s needs and preferences.

Holistic drug and alcohol rehab treatment, as it augments a more traditional rehabilitation strategy, can provide a very well-rounded program. This may allow a person to focus more on a total picture of health and vitality beyond the immediate recovery from substance abuse itself. With more emphasis on nutrition, as well as relaxation and peace of mind, holistic alcohol and drug addiction treatment programs can prepare someone to re-enter the outside world with renewed and lasting health.

What Is the Importance of Holistic Aftercare?

Aftercare, regardless of whether it is classified as holistic or traditional, is essential to long-term recovery success. The term aftercare, or continuing care, refers to the stage of addiction treatment that follows an initial episode of more intensive care.4 Aftercare should be a part of every drug and alcohol addiction treatment plan, as it is a significant part of a person’s overall care. Continuous, ongoing treatment helps prevent relapse and provides a lifelong strategy for staying free of substance misuse.

More traditional types of aftercare may include outpatient treatment, medications, therapy/counseling, and 12-step mutual support groups. While some of these support services, like therapy, could be a part of a holistic aftercare plan, those who undergo holistic aftercare may participate in activities such as acupuncture, herbal therapy, massage, meditation, and nutritional interventions. A holistic aftercare program will focus on maintaining the mind-body connection and stronger sense of well-being obtained during the treatment phase.

Will Insurance Pay for Holistic Rehab Treatment?

As many of the treatment modalities used in holistic rehab programs are considered complementary or alternative medicine, only certain health insurance companies may provide reimbursement for them.

For some individuals, as a result, the biggest downside to seeking holistic recovery centers is a financial one. While you may be able to locate state-funded or free or low-cost rehab options, some patients might have to pay out of their own pocket if they are determined to undergo holistic treatments for alcohol and drug addiction. For many, though, it’s well worth it.

Licensing for practitioners of many CAM therapies is another issue to consider. Acupuncturists carry their own recognized set of licenses and accreditation; however, certain other practitioners do not fall under any federal licensing jurisdiction or scrutiny. On an individual state basis, some form of registration or quality of care indicators is mandated, but this is not universal. For these reasons, and to ensure that the highest level of quality care will be administered, it would be in your best interest to research the training and background of the healthcare providers you encounter at specific holistic treatment centers.

Before making a decision about whether to choose holistic rehab, it can help to obtain word-of-mouth recommendations, check the practitioner’s online reviews, and ask any questions you have about the practitioner’s qualifications and methods used.

How to Find Holistic Rehabs Near Me

Rehab facilities are located throughout the United States, and many offer specialized treatment that can cater to individual needs. American Addiction Centers (AAC) is a leading provider of addiction treatment programs and has trusted rehab facilities across the country.

Our admissions navigators can help you find a program that will accept your insurance and, if you must pay privately, rehab that is affordable. Helpline staff are available free of charge to help you find a center that matches your needs. Call us at any time, day or night, for an opportunity to experience long-term recovery. All calls are confidential.

Additional Resources on Health Insurance Providers and Coverage Levels

Visit the links below to find out more about your health insurance coverage levels, how to get your insurance company to pay for drug and alcohol rehab, and how to pay for substance misuse treatment if you don’t have insurance.

Recommended Specialized Rehab-Related Articles

Whether you’re looking for a specific type of rehab treatment, substance-related information or additional guides, here are some of our most popular and recommended resources.

Was this page helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Read our full editorial policy

While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.