When someone is injured in a car accident, the hospital doctors work to repair all their injuries, not just the biggest or most apparent one. The goal of holistic sobriety takes a similar perspective. An individual struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction needs all the injuries incurred to be repaired, that is, the physical harm done to the body and the mental harm done to both the mind and the spirit.

This is why a holistic approach to drug and alcohol addiction is so important,  it takes into consideration all the affected parts of a person and works to offer the best form of total and complete recovery possible. 

MAT – Treating the body 

According to SAMHSA, MAT, or medication assisted treatment, is prescribing specified FDA-approved medications “to normalize brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids, relieve physiological cravings, and normalize body functions without the negative and euphoric effects of the substance used.” That is one of the many benefits of MAT, regulating and relieving some of the intense withdrawal symptoms likely to be experienced when weaning the body off addictive substances.

MAT also includes the treatment of possible co-occurring disorders like anxiety, depression or PTSD, as well as dramatically reducing the possibilities of relapse. In addition, MAT significantly improves the health of those who’ve tragically experienced an overdose; one NIH study proved that the use of methadone and buprenorphine (both FDA approved MAT drugs) decreased opioid-caused deaths from overdose by 59% and 38%, respectively.

MAT is one of the reasons so many clients see their way fully through recovery. Because their body is able to be stabilized with the right prescription medication, they are guaranteed to be in a better state to receive the counseling and behavioral therapy important to a full recovery.

Counseling – Treating the mind 

Counseling, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), is the important second piece of holistic recovery. Through structured sessions with a therapist, clients are able to work through stressful, complicated parts of life, dissect their perspectives and behaviors, and craft more peaceful, productive and healthy patterns of thinking and behaving. CBT has proven to be highly effective for years, with the potential to see results after as few as five sessions. 

Counseling benefits clients in many ways, but especially in regards to addiction and substance abuse, it allows them to work with a counselor to change their outlook towards and behavior around substances. Especially when combined with MAT, counseling is highly effective in helping individuals change their perspective on drugs and alcohol and remain dedicated to this new life change. 

Because change needs to come from within, MAT alone is not good enough to alter this perspective. It is the counseling aspect which allows a client to comprehend the dangers of substance abuse and form their own healthy perspectives.  

Additional benefits of counseling include: 

  • Coping strategies – Clients are taught new methods of coping with stress that do not include using drugs or alcohol as self-medication.
  • Support – Clients gain the support of their counselors, but also those going through treatment programs with them. Friendships built through group therapy can provide encouragement important to recovery.
  • Relapse prevention – New healthy mindsets, in connection with healthy coping strategies, about drugs and alcohol help prevent relapse from occurring.
  • Relationship healing – Because substance abuse puts so much strain on personal relationships, counseling helps to restore these relationships as well as remove toxic ones from their life.

MAT & counseling for holistic sobriety 

MAT and counseling work together in medication-assisted treatment programming to promote change in individuals struggling with substance abuse. It is not a program of just substituting one drug for another, or forcing talk-therapy upon a client in the hopes of changing their mind. No, it is a much more intentional, personalized and scientifically-proven method of working in tandem with an individual’s desire to put their life on a new, healthy trajectory. 

It is also the belief that healing comes about most effectively when both the affected body and mind are healed. The body cannot be healed without a change in perspective just as one’s mind cannot be healed if all it’s energies are focused on the body’s sickness. By balancing both recovery strategies, total recovery is possible. 
If you are interested in learning more about medication-assisted treatment programming, reach out to Real Recovery Clinical Services today at (855) 363-7325.