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6 Things To Know About Psychological and Physical Approaches for Substance Use Disorders

Psychological and physical complementary health approaches, such as mindfulness-based interventions, have shown some success when applied to the treatment of substance abuse and addiction. They can be part of a comprehensive treatment plan that also includes other types of therapy.

If you are considering a psychological or physical approach to help with a substance use disorder, here are 6 things you should know.

  1. Mindfulness-based interventions. Mindfulness-based interventions may help people reduce their use of substances such as alcohol, cigarettes, and opioids. Adding the mindfulness-oriented recovery enhancement (MORE) program to standard methadone treatment leads to therapeutic benefits in people with opioid use disorder and chronic pain.   

  2. Acupuncture. There aren’t enough consistent data to support the use of acupuncture for substance use disorder treatment. However, some research suggests that acupuncture may be helpful in reducing withdrawal/craving and anxiety symptoms.

  3. Hypnotherapy. Some evidence suggests that hypnotherapy may be helpful for substance use disorder treatment, but the data are not definitive.

  4. Music-based interventions. When used in addition to standard care, music therapy may lead to reductions in cravings and increase motivation for people who are receiving treatment for substance use disorders.

  5. Yoga. Preliminary results of studies on yoga for substance use disorders have been positive, but larger, high-quality studies are needed to rigorously determine whether yoga is effective.

  6. Take charge of your health—talk with your health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use. Together, you can make shared, well-informed decisions.