Modern vs Traditional Addiction Treatments

Modern vs Traditional Addiction Treatments
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Many people all around the world suffer from addiction. There have been many ways to address this issue, and no particular one can be considered effective for all. However, over the years, as the treatments have evolved, there have been two major approaches to addiction: traditional and modern addiction treatments. While these two approaches may differ, their goal is the same: to help patients who struggle with addiction. Therefore, you may find one of these more beneficial for you. So here we elucidate the types of traditional and modern methods that differ one approach from the other.

Experiential vs. Tried and Tested Approaches

Traditional addiction treatments follow evidence-based and “tried and tested” approaches, while the modern approach to addiction treatment is more holistic and experiential. A residential rehab, for instance, is a traditional way of dealing with addiction. While it is essential for a person to get treated under the expertise of a certified doctor, modern treatment will keep in mind the mental and spiritual sides as well. 

What Does a Traditional Approach Encompass?

Though the treatment options are constantly evolving, there are some that have been in use for a long time, such as medical detox, which is usually the first step when a person with addiction seeks help. Following are the different types of traditional addiction treatments:

  • Inpatient treatment

Inpatient treatment, also known as residential rehab, is a regimented treatment plan that offers a secure environment where patients may address the source of their addiction without being exposed to outside pressures. Usually, patients in such a setting will find the encouragement and support they require in this community to aid in the development of their own sense of responsibility for their actions. In residential therapy, patients get care around-the-clock in a place other than a hospital and integrate into a therapeutic community.

  • Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP)

PHPs are particularly beneficial for people who are still employed, enrolled in school, or responsible at home. Someone may be more inclined to engage in a partial hospitalization program (PHP) if their addiction is less severe and they need less monitoring. Although there are fewer scheduled sessions in these programmes, therapy sessions are still held several times a week for a few hours each time. However, people can return to their families.

  • Intensive Outpatient Program

While outpatient programs are more flexible in terms of schedule, they nonetheless require many of the same resources as PHPs or inpatient therapy. They enable people to continue with their obligations in their personal and professional lives while still pursuing their rehabilitation.

  • Aftercare

Aftercare is considered an important part of recovery as it reduces the chances of relapse. These programs can enable people to stay involved in their recovery groups and support one another while they pursue their own paths to recovery. The use of a 12-step plan is common in aftercare programs

Modern Addiction Treatments

Because modern treatments are usually holistic in nature, they involve unconventional methods such as yoga, mindful therapy, massage therapy, etc.


Though acupuncture may be classified as an old Chinese method, it is modern in the sense that it goes beyond medication and traditional ways of addiction treatment. In order to restore balance and encourage healing, small needles are inserted into certain body locations in this traditional treatment. Even though acupuncture should only be performed by qualified professionals, several medical insurance companies that offer coverage view it as a legitimate method of treatment.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is a very relaxing technique that not only relieves physical stress but also mental stress. According to the American Psychological Association, stress is one of the driving forces behind relapse and affects the immune system. Therefore, by reducing the release of stress hormones and promoting calmness, massage therapy helps people fight this and decreases the chances of becoming vulnerable to other mental health issues as well. Needless to say, massage therapy alone cannot cater to a patient’s needs. 


A state of focused concentration that may be induced by a therapist or by the patient themselves is referred to as hypnosis. The mind is more open to suggestions that are consistent with the client’s primary objectives when under hypnosis. While hypnosis cannot be seen as a stand-alone treatment for addiction, some people have reported success with it when combined with other, more conventional treatment methods. Because hypnosis takes on a holistic approach, it is classified as a modern technique. 

Yoga and Mindfulness

Yoga and meditation are effective ways of being helpful in regaining health by training your mind accordingly. These techniques require a person to be present and concentrate on the “here and now.” Yoga breathing exercises can be employed as coping mechanisms for stress and stressors outside of a yoga session. Therefore, people with addictions can take advantage of this situation. 

While some people may see mindfulness as a slightly different concept, both can also go hand in hand. The difference is that yoga is also a physical act, while meditation is more mental. 

If you are wondering which treatment is the best overall, there is no definite answer to this because the efficacy of treatments is different for everyone. So, you will need to find the one that suits you best.

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