Alternative Substance Use Disorder Treatment Approaches

Alternative Substance Use Disorder Treatment Approaches

While 12-step programs and in-patient treatment facilities have helped millions of people with mental health and addiction issues improve their lives, they are not necessarily the best fit for everybody. If 12-step programs haven’t worked for you in the past, many alternative treatments may appeal to you. Just be careful to conduct the proper amount of research before fully committing yourself to any plan of action. Here are some alternative mental/emotional health treatment options that you should consider incorporating into your recovery plan, courtesy of Summer Sky Treatment Center®.


 Practicing mindfulness allows you to become more self-aware of your triggers and negative thoughts and reactions. As a result, you can work to channel more positivity and bring a sense of peace into your everyday life. The right mindset is often needed to make progress and effective change.


It’s been proven that working out provides a natural high through the release of endorphins. Bustle recommends “incorporating high-intensity aerobic exercise like spinning and swimming into recovery plans.” If you’re feeling anxious, blow off steam by going for a run or taking a Zumba class at your local gym. Yoga is also a great way to stretch the body and can be combined with meditation to alleviate anxiety and unease.

Art Therapy

Indulging in the arts can be a unique opportunity for self-expression as well as a way to create change and beauty. Whether it’s painting, photography, sculpting, or graphic animation, it’s a good use of time if it keeps the brain occupied and stimulated.

Pet Therapy

Animals reduce anxiety and calm the body by providing companionship. While those seeking mental balance may feel alienated from other humans, a pet gives unconditional love, builds trust, and even teaches responsibility. Pet therapy often makes human relationships easier to establish or heal by repairing the damage done to your self-esteem and sense of trust.


Spending time in the great outdoors through activities like gardening is also known to aid in healing and establishing emotional equilibrium. Caring for a living thing like a plant doesn’t involve a lot of pressure, but it allows you to commit, just like you’ve committed to your well-being. Going on a hiking trip is another beneficial way to spend time in nature. Even a short hike or walking activity counts as exercise and helps clear the mind. Wilderness therapy is another popular technique to aid in mental well-being, so you may want to look for a program near you.


Individualized treatment through the counsel of a professional is also effective in that a counselor may be able to troubleshoot problems as they arise, thereby keeping you on the path of healing. Many people find it easier to share their feelings with a professional therapist, and therapists and counselors are trained to provide a certain degree of objectivity to considerations of the issues under discussion.


What we eat goes a long way toward influencing our mental and physical health. Per Harvard Health Publishing, a traditional diet such as the Mediterranean diet or a traditional Japanese diet can make a positive difference in improving how you think and feel. Avoiding processed foods and increasing your intake of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables can be a valuable addition to your regimen.


Many people find that helping out with a religious or charitable organization gives them a sense of purpose and a meaningful way to use their time. When we help others, we also help ourselves, so volunteering can motivate us to stay healthy and healed.


Reading can increase relaxation and help reduce stress. Whether you prefer fiction or nonfiction, reading helps develop thinking skills that can help in other areas of life and can provide insight into the world around us (although stories of fantasy and science fiction may well provide needed escapism, of course).


Throwing yourself back into operating your own business and letting it consume your time may not be the best strategy for recovery. Remember, if you’d like to outsource, there are dozens of companies that offer highly skilled and adaptable personnel to help your business accomplish even the most complex tasks. They can help you find the time you need to prioritize your recovery.

 Alternative treatments should be avoided if they lack trustworthy recommendations and proper credentials, are extremely costly or are not results orientated. Be leery of a one-solution-fits-all method. Doing a little research can go a long way toward making sure you are exploring your best options.

Remember that everyone is different, and what may work for someone else may not work for you. Don’t get discouraged! The road to recovery is a long journey full of many struggles. Therefore, it’s also important to manage stress and anxiety to maintain emotional stability. Try to focus on the positive and live in the moment and consider alternative treatments to enhance your journey to mental wellness.

Since 1985, Summer Sky Treatment Center® has served the physical, psychological, and spiritual needs of over 25,000 patients who have struggled with drug and/or alcohol addiction (both male and female adults) and their concerned families, friends, and employers. You can call our Texas Drug Rehabs admission department at 1-888-857-8857.

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