Overcoming addiction to drugs or alcohol requires detoxification and rehabilitation, and typical programs usually involve counseling sessions and certain medications. But increasingly, addiction treatment involves a more holistic approach to helping those battling addiction to overcome the physical and psychological issues associated with the disease.
What is Holistic Addiction Treatment?
Holistic addiction treatment encompasses the entirety of the individual, including mind, body, and soul. Rather than focusing solely on the addiction and the physical and psychological dependence on the substance, holistic addiction treatment aims to incorporate aspects that are traditionally overlooked. Instead, a more balanced approach to caring for patients battling addiction is embraced.
Used alongside traditional addiction therapies, holistic addiction therapy can be an effective tool to help patients achieve success in their fight against addiction.
Types of Holistic Addiction Treatment
There are so many therapies that can be included in a holistic treatment protocol, including the following:
- Art therapy
- Animal-assisted therapy
- Nutritional modifications
- Natural supplementation
Benefits of Holistic Treatment
A treatment program that touches on all aspects of a person’s self provides several benefits. For instance, hypnosis and meditation can encourage a heightened state of awareness, which may be helpful in warding off future relapses. Breathing techniques and massage therapy can induce a state of relaxation.
Yoga can help improve mind-spirit-body connections, and acupuncture may be useful during detox to minimize withdrawal symptoms.
Natural supplements, including cannabidiol (CBD), may also be an interesting addition to holistic addiction therapy when used in conjunction with traditional therapies to alleviate pain and anxiety associated with detoxing.
The Role of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Holistic Addiction Treatment
One of the many symptoms that addiction patients may experience is anxiety and pain, particularly as they go through a detox and rehab program. CBD may play a role in helping to alleviate these side effects and help patients migrate through their programs with minimal distress.
In fact, CBD has already shown some promise in helping those with opioid addictions overcome their disorder. 
Pre-clinical evidence suggests that the CB1 receptors of the endocannabinoid system play a significant role in opioid reward. Cannabinoid antagonism may decrease the rewarding attributes of opioids, thereby helping to weaken the need to continue seeking out the drug.
Further, CB1 agonism may be useful in opioid use disorder treatment. Some studies have shown that cannabis reduces opioid use.
Researchers have found that CBD may also reduce the rewarding properties of other drugs, including cocaine, nicotine, and amphetamines.
Given this, CBD may be an effective component of a holistic addiction treatment program.
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1. Wiese, B. & Wilson-Poe, A.R., “Emerging Evidence for Cannabis’ Role in Opioid Use Disorder“, Cannabis Cannabinoid Res., September 2018; Vol.3(1): 179–189.