In researching drug and alcohol treatment, you may have come across the term “holistic treatment”, but what exactly does that mean? We want to take you through the aspects of holistic addiction treatment, so that you can understand what it means to treat the whole of yourself, rather than just one part.
The Venn Diagram of Wellness
It’s important to realise that addiction affects all dimensions of your life. It doesn’t just impact your physical and mental health, it puts a lens over your eyes that changes your interactions with the world. We believe that treating an addiction relies on treating everything that was affected by it, because that is what uproots the triggers for substance abuse.
The thing is, drug and alcohol abuse is something that isolates you. Every aspect of your life – from social to environmental – is negatively impacted, like blocking in the root system of a plant until it shrivels up. Rebuilding your life aspects is the focus of holistic treatment, creating a solid root system for you to grow again.
Take a moment to evaluate how your life looks at this moment, as free of negative judgement as you can manage, and ask yourself these questions:
- Do you feel that you live in a place and occupy a space that makes you happy?
- Can you create mutually beneficial and respectful relationships with others?
- Is your financial situation stable?
- Do you feel a connection with a purpose or meaning in your life?
- What sense of achievement or enrichment do you gain from what you do?
- Do you have a support system that gives you a feeling of belonging?
- When do you take the time to look after yourself physically?
If these questions have shown you some gaps in your wellness due to drug or alcohol use, then holistic treatment is the best way to proceed.
Imagine if you felt isolated from others and didn’t have a distinct connection to your own life. Do you think that treating only the physiological symptoms of addiction would help for the rest of your life?
Treating All the Dimensions
The goal of actively treating each of the dimensions of wellness is to build them up in a sort of network, so that each helps the other to rebuild and strengthen. For example, increasing your ability to cope with life on an emotional level will help you to build up your social support system, which will in turn increase your sense of meaning or purpose. While that may sound like a series of fairly easy dominoes, the truth is that you have to dedicate time and effort to caring for yourself and each of those individual aspects of life.
This is where a rehabilitation centre comes in. A rehab centre, contrary to any misconception society may have, creates an environment specifically tailored to help you to recover away from the additional stress that your normal life can create. It teaches you how to cope with life once you get back into it.
Zen Detox is focused on this holistic practice of addiction treatment that puts an equal spotlight on every dimension of a person’s well-being.
We treat the emotional dimension by encouraging both one-on-one and group therapies. These sessions help you identify the thoughts and emotions that trigger substance abuse for you, and to create new pathways and habits to combat that reflex. These are also aimed at helping you cope with other stressors in life, such as other people or your job, to prevent any relapses in drug use.
As previously mentioned, the main goal of a rehabilitation centre is to take you away from the pressures of life so that you can focus on dealing with your addiction. Most centres are located in a calm and peaceful part of the world, usually connected to nature, because these places are deeply grounding. Our centre is located on 3.5 acres of landscaped gardens overlooking the Waitakere ranges, which deeply supports the wellbeing of our clients.
This dimension comes in two parts: you are relearning to engage in things that interest you, and simultaneously establishing new habits and creating new neural pathways relating to drug and alcohol use. Education on the science of addiction and what your body uses to prompt you to use is a brilliant way to help you to keep on top of any cravings, because noticing that they are happening is the first step to choosing something better to do.
It’s no secret that drug and alcohol abuse have a massive impact on the body. These stimulants abuse and deplete the neurotransmitter receptors in the brain, meaning you become desensitised to emotions like joy or contentment, and it becomes harder to feel them without using the substances to create them. In addition, your body undergoes a lot of stress, so your health suffers.
By rebuilding your body towards a healthier state, you can reduce the cravings you feel and make it easier to engage with life rather than resort to old habits.
This may sound like it only relates to a field of work or study, but it’s not exclusive to those things. Occupational health is having something that you go and do each day in order to gain fulfilment, and the first step in attaining this is to re-establish what your passions are.
What do you love doing? We work with you to find out and implement time in your life to get out there and do it.
Once again, this is not restricted to any one religious belief. You may want to reconnect with your religion, or you may need to gain a deeper connection to the natural world around you. This dimension is about having a sense of meaning that is more existential than anything else; it is what motivates you to enjoy everything else.
Having a healthy social life is incredibly important, especially when you’re battling addiction. You don’t have to go out and find ten people to be friends with, you just need to find one or two people that you are connected to and that you trust to support you in your journey. We help you to work on your connections with people, whether that be your family or your friends, in order to create a healthy support system for you once you leave.
Lastly, the financial aspect of wellness is very important in the modern world. Most things are hard to do without money, and you want to have the financial freedom to live your life and recover well. In aid of this, we help you to get onto a work and income benefit as a stepping stone to your future financial welfare.
You are in control of your life.
You are able to choose where you go, because you have agency in your own life. Start making the changes you want to see and let us help.