Alcohol Use Disorder: Alternative Treatments

Reviewed Aug 31, 2017

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Summary

Some alternative treatments:

  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Nutrition

Alcohol use disorder is progressive and can be deadly. Treatment includes both inpatient and outpatient programs, family counseling, and self-help meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Over the years, many alternative treatment methods have been developed to help the overall health of the person and to work with existing therapies. For some people the results have been very good. But more research is needed.

What is alternative and complementary medicine?

It comes from years of home remedies and other professional disciplines. The focus of these methods is to aid changes that usher in good health and well-being. The Complementary Medical Association lists the eight tenets of this philosophy:

  1. Good health is a state of emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical balance.
  2. The mind and body are tied.
  3. The body is able to heal itself.
  4. Treating the root causes of a problem is more important than treating the symptoms.
  5. Active self-help and health education are a major part of success.
  6. Communication between the person with alcohol use disorder, medical doctor, and other health practitioners is needed.
  7. Each person is an individual and must be treated as such.
  8. Environmental and social influences can have a major effect on a person's physical and emotional make-up.

What alternative methods can help with alcohol use disorder?

Yoga uses physical postures and controlled breathing to lengthen the spine and make it stronger, and increase its ability to bend with ease. It calms the mind, helps with focus, and develops patience. It can also lead to a greater sense of control when having cravings, trouble sleeping, being upset, etc. Regular practice is needed to get these good results.

Biofeedback is a scientific way of learning to lower tension. Practitioners use tools to give a person feedback right away about the level of tension in their body. People practicing it often say they gain psychological faith in themselves when they learn to control their emotions. It has been found to be useful in many aspects of treatment.

Massage can let tension go and help energy balance and flow. It can give deeper levels of relaxation and peace, and a greater sense of self.

Meditation includes many types. All work to quiet the mind and aid relaxation and mental clarity. It helps people focus and quiet negative thoughts that fill their mind and cause stress.

Acupuncture is a part of Asian medicine developed in China more than 2,500 years ago. It is the act of placing fine needles into specific points on the skin, which helps healing, cuts cravings for drinking, and eases withdrawal symptoms. It may also lower worry and sadness that lasts.

Spiritual practice can play a big role in recovery from addiction. For many people, gaining greater insight into their spiritual side helps them see their purpose in life. The founding rule of AA is that something greater than you (a higher power) can help heal and fix your life. Prayer and meditation is encouraged in AA.

Nutrition. Alcohol keeps your body from getting vital nutrients. Those who overuse it may not have the right amount of a number of vitamins and minerals. Your doctor may tell you to take vitamin supplements that can help cut cravings, control blood sugar fluctuations, and decrease stress from drinking.

Alcohol use disorder is a serious disease. Knowing the many care choices will add to the chances of recovery. If you are having a problem with drinking, talk with a trusted friend, doctor, or clergy member.

Resources

Al-Anon Family Groups
www.al-anon.alateen.org

Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. (AA)
Main site: www.aa.org
Online support groups: www.aa-intergroup.org

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
http://ncadd.org
 
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
www.samhsa.gov

By Drew Edwards, EdD, MS
Reviewed by Enrique Olivares, MD, FAPA, Director of Addiction Services, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Some alternative treatments:

  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Nutrition

Alcohol use disorder is progressive and can be deadly. Treatment includes both inpatient and outpatient programs, family counseling, and self-help meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Over the years, many alternative treatment methods have been developed to help the overall health of the person and to work with existing therapies. For some people the results have been very good. But more research is needed.

What is alternative and complementary medicine?

It comes from years of home remedies and other professional disciplines. The focus of these methods is to aid changes that usher in good health and well-being. The Complementary Medical Association lists the eight tenets of this philosophy:

  1. Good health is a state of emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical balance.
  2. The mind and body are tied.
  3. The body is able to heal itself.
  4. Treating the root causes of a problem is more important than treating the symptoms.
  5. Active self-help and health education are a major part of success.
  6. Communication between the person with alcohol use disorder, medical doctor, and other health practitioners is needed.
  7. Each person is an individual and must be treated as such.
  8. Environmental and social influences can have a major effect on a person's physical and emotional make-up.

What alternative methods can help with alcohol use disorder?

Yoga uses physical postures and controlled breathing to lengthen the spine and make it stronger, and increase its ability to bend with ease. It calms the mind, helps with focus, and develops patience. It can also lead to a greater sense of control when having cravings, trouble sleeping, being upset, etc. Regular practice is needed to get these good results.

Biofeedback is a scientific way of learning to lower tension. Practitioners use tools to give a person feedback right away about the level of tension in their body. People practicing it often say they gain psychological faith in themselves when they learn to control their emotions. It has been found to be useful in many aspects of treatment.

Massage can let tension go and help energy balance and flow. It can give deeper levels of relaxation and peace, and a greater sense of self.

Meditation includes many types. All work to quiet the mind and aid relaxation and mental clarity. It helps people focus and quiet negative thoughts that fill their mind and cause stress.

Acupuncture is a part of Asian medicine developed in China more than 2,500 years ago. It is the act of placing fine needles into specific points on the skin, which helps healing, cuts cravings for drinking, and eases withdrawal symptoms. It may also lower worry and sadness that lasts.

Spiritual practice can play a big role in recovery from addiction. For many people, gaining greater insight into their spiritual side helps them see their purpose in life. The founding rule of AA is that something greater than you (a higher power) can help heal and fix your life. Prayer and meditation is encouraged in AA.

Nutrition. Alcohol keeps your body from getting vital nutrients. Those who overuse it may not have the right amount of a number of vitamins and minerals. Your doctor may tell you to take vitamin supplements that can help cut cravings, control blood sugar fluctuations, and decrease stress from drinking.

Alcohol use disorder is a serious disease. Knowing the many care choices will add to the chances of recovery. If you are having a problem with drinking, talk with a trusted friend, doctor, or clergy member.

Resources

Al-Anon Family Groups
www.al-anon.alateen.org

Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. (AA)
Main site: www.aa.org
Online support groups: www.aa-intergroup.org

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
http://ncadd.org
 
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
www.samhsa.gov

By Drew Edwards, EdD, MS
Reviewed by Enrique Olivares, MD, FAPA, Director of Addiction Services, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Some alternative treatments:

  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Nutrition

Alcohol use disorder is progressive and can be deadly. Treatment includes both inpatient and outpatient programs, family counseling, and self-help meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Over the years, many alternative treatment methods have been developed to help the overall health of the person and to work with existing therapies. For some people the results have been very good. But more research is needed.

What is alternative and complementary medicine?

It comes from years of home remedies and other professional disciplines. The focus of these methods is to aid changes that usher in good health and well-being. The Complementary Medical Association lists the eight tenets of this philosophy:

  1. Good health is a state of emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical balance.
  2. The mind and body are tied.
  3. The body is able to heal itself.
  4. Treating the root causes of a problem is more important than treating the symptoms.
  5. Active self-help and health education are a major part of success.
  6. Communication between the person with alcohol use disorder, medical doctor, and other health practitioners is needed.
  7. Each person is an individual and must be treated as such.
  8. Environmental and social influences can have a major effect on a person's physical and emotional make-up.

What alternative methods can help with alcohol use disorder?

Yoga uses physical postures and controlled breathing to lengthen the spine and make it stronger, and increase its ability to bend with ease. It calms the mind, helps with focus, and develops patience. It can also lead to a greater sense of control when having cravings, trouble sleeping, being upset, etc. Regular practice is needed to get these good results.

Biofeedback is a scientific way of learning to lower tension. Practitioners use tools to give a person feedback right away about the level of tension in their body. People practicing it often say they gain psychological faith in themselves when they learn to control their emotions. It has been found to be useful in many aspects of treatment.

Massage can let tension go and help energy balance and flow. It can give deeper levels of relaxation and peace, and a greater sense of self.

Meditation includes many types. All work to quiet the mind and aid relaxation and mental clarity. It helps people focus and quiet negative thoughts that fill their mind and cause stress.

Acupuncture is a part of Asian medicine developed in China more than 2,500 years ago. It is the act of placing fine needles into specific points on the skin, which helps healing, cuts cravings for drinking, and eases withdrawal symptoms. It may also lower worry and sadness that lasts.

Spiritual practice can play a big role in recovery from addiction. For many people, gaining greater insight into their spiritual side helps them see their purpose in life. The founding rule of AA is that something greater than you (a higher power) can help heal and fix your life. Prayer and meditation is encouraged in AA.

Nutrition. Alcohol keeps your body from getting vital nutrients. Those who overuse it may not have the right amount of a number of vitamins and minerals. Your doctor may tell you to take vitamin supplements that can help cut cravings, control blood sugar fluctuations, and decrease stress from drinking.

Alcohol use disorder is a serious disease. Knowing the many care choices will add to the chances of recovery. If you are having a problem with drinking, talk with a trusted friend, doctor, or clergy member.

Resources

Al-Anon Family Groups
www.al-anon.alateen.org

Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. (AA)
Main site: www.aa.org
Online support groups: www.aa-intergroup.org

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
http://ncadd.org
 
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
www.samhsa.gov

By Drew Edwards, EdD, MS
Reviewed by Enrique Olivares, MD, FAPA, Director of Addiction Services, Beacon Health Options

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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