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Alternative Treatment


Alternative treatment for addiction in New York opens up options for alcohol and drug abusers beyond traditional services. As a core base, rehab offers cognitive-behavioral therapy and counseling as some traditional choices.

Alternative treatment offers individuals additional therapies to enhance the probabilities of successful recovery and sustaining sobriety. Since each person is unique, and responds to treatment uniquely, offering alternative treatment opens up the variety of methods available. Here is a review of effective alternative treatment approaches available in New York.


Art Therapy

Art therapy is used to offer addicts multiple ways in which to express themselves using their creativity. Using imagination, substance abusers can express themselves nonverbally through art creation. Since many abusers have experienced trauma and other events difficult to talk about, it is important to have art therapy as a means of nonverbal expression. Avenues used include painting, sculpting, drawing and coloring. Coloring for adults has shown a recent resurgence in popularity, in New York and other states in the country, and proves to be relaxing and an excellent creative outlet.


Music Therapy

Music and drug addiction treatment has shown to be helpful in promoting relaxation, reducing pain and regulating breathing. People in recovery have reported music increases levels of happiness and lessens stress levels. Treatment programs in New York incorporating music therapy use it to treat trauma as well. Music is a nonverbal way for addicts to express trauma and emotions. It also empowers the individual and gives a sense of accomplishment. While musical expression is enhancing emotional and mental states, the body benefits from relaxation and the accompanying lowered blood pressure levels, relaxed muscles and regulated breathing creating music brings. When groups collaborate on songwriting, singing and improvisational creations, a peer group cooperates and bonds, fostering positive emotions for everyone in the group.


Equine Therapy

Equine therapy programs are not about horse riding or training, but rather about interacting with horses on the ground. Participants learn how to understand themselves better by working with these animals. Since horses mirror human feelings, abusers get immediate feedback through non-verbal cues from the horses. Those cues are used for better self-understanding, to cultivate self-confidence and enhance self-concept.



Using scientific techniques, machines are used to report stress levels which give immediate feedback. With continued practice, the client becomes aware of stress triggers by watching the feedback. Control then improves, as this training provides signals to rising tension levels, so a person can alleviate stress in a healthy manner before it becomes unmanageable. With continued practice, the person learns to understand these signals without the help of machines.


Principles of Effective Treatment

The National Institute of Drug Abuse released a guide of what to look for in an effective treatment program:

  • No one treatment applies to all individuals, all people are different.
  • Treatment needs to be readily available for all who need it at all times.
  • Effective treatment attends to all the needs of the individual, not only drug and alcohol use.
  • Treatment needs to be flexible and assessed regularly to see if changes are needed during drug addiction therapy.
  • Adequate time is needed for addiction treatment to be effective, not rushed.
  • Individual counseling, group meetings and other behavioral therapies are critical components of effective treatment for addiction.
  • Medications are important in treatment for many and are especially effective when counseling and behavioral therapies are also used.
  • Addicted or drug-abusing individuals with coexisting mental disorders need all disorders treated.
  • Medical detoxification cannot stand alone and should be viewed as the start to addiction treatment.
  • Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective. It can be forcible.
  • Possible drug use during treatment must be monitored with drug testing.
  • Treatment programs should assess for infectious diseases. Counseling to avoid risks of infection, or help those already infected, is needed.
  • Recovery from drug addiction can be a lengthy process. Repeated occurrences of treatment are common and to be expected.


Take the time to explore your options for treatment in New York. The right treatment regimen could mean a lifetime of health, happiness, and support.