Treating addiction is an incredibly complicated process. It requires a balanced combination of psychological treatment and physical medication. Psychological treatment tends to focus on various forms of therapy. These types of therapy help tackle the root causes of addiction. They also help to prevent relapse in the future. Physical medication, on the other hand, it most often used to overcome the unpleasant symptoms of addiction withdrawal. Though, in some cases, medication may also be used to combat certain psychological conditions that encourage addiction.
The connection between physical medicine and rehabilitation is fairly well understood. Even more so than the psychological connections to addiction. Various medications have been used to treat addictions throughout most of the twentieth century. There are hundreds of quality studies on the subject. Experts have identified physical medicines that can be used to target nearly any symptom of any sort of addiction.
In the past, these physical medicines were limited entirely to pharmaceutical compounds. There were certain pharmaceutical drugs that were used to imitate the effects of a particular addictive substance. Those were then used in combination with pharmaceuticals that helped alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal. Today; however, we have a greater understanding of natural methods and medications that can be just as useful and less risky.
Natural and pharmaceutical methods now both play an important role in the rehabilitation process. We’re now going to take a look at the two sides of this coin so that you can better understand the connection between physical medicine and rehabilitation.
Pharmaceuticals That Mimic Addictive Substances
This is one particular area where pharmaceutical methods are more advantageous. In some cases, it may be dangerous or near impossible for a person to combat an addictive substance entirely on the spot. A rehab center can approach this problem by using a pharmaceutical that mimics the effects of the addictive substance. They can then gradually reduce the patient’s intake of that substance until they no longer need it.
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A very common example of this is methadone, which is a pharmaceutical used for patients who are suffering from a serious heroin addiction. A doctor at a rehab center will prescribe a patient methadone according to their level of addiction in addition to other factors. The methadone controls the heroin cravings and helps the body maintain a stable state while coming off of the drug.
Of course, this approach does have its own risks. Many patients have become addicted to methadone and continued to use the drug long after leaving rehab. This has led to hundreds of people dying each year from a methadone overdose. A big part of the problem is that the underlying causes of the patient’s addiction were never properly addressed. This is a great example of how physical medicine may be highly effective, but psychological treatment is also required if the addiction is going to truly be managed.
Natural Methods Of Treating Psychological Conditions
Pharmaceuticals and natural methods can both be used to treat certain psychological conditions known to encourage substance abuse. In particular, anxiety and depression are both believed to be the root causes of substance abuse in many patients. The most troubling part is that substance abuse causes these conditions to worsen, which then causes substance abuse to worsen. It becomes a vicious cycle that seems impossible to escape.
Essential oils are an effective natural tool for fighting anxiety and depression, which makes them a powerful tool for rehabilitation.1 If you were to take a look at the benefits associated with particular oils you would find that several of them claim to ease anxiety and stress while fighting depression. Many of these claims have been backed by a significant number of clinical trials and studies.
Some of the most powerful essential oils used for treating anxiety include lavender, chamomile, and orange. Lavender, in particular, contains a high percentage of linalool and linalyl acetate. It has been used around the world for easing stress, reducing anxiety, and promoting relaxation.
Exactly how these oils are utilized can vary. Most experts agree that the most effective method is to use a diffuser. This will convert the volatile oils into a vapor that can be easily inhaled. Once inhaled, the chemicals will activate certain receptors in the brain and the olfactory bulb. Anxiety relief can occur within a matter of minutes.
Pharmaceuticals Used To Treat Psychological Conditions
There are also many pharmaceutical compounds used to treat anxiety and depression. Some of the biggest names on the market are Prozac, Xanax, and Valium. These medications have been studied and tested a great deal, which makes them the more common solution for anxiety. However, just as with pharmaceuticals used to mimic drugs, there are certain risks involved.
First, you will need to consider the side effects involved. The three drugs mentioned above include side effects like confusion, dizziness, slurred speech, and blurred vision. Second, these drugs have the potential for addiction and abuse, which is the problem you are trying to overcome. Third, some studies have shown that these drugs can cause treatment-resistant depression in patients.
This isn’t to say that pharmaceuticals have no place in treating anxiety or depression. In most cases, they are very helpful and highly effective. The problem is that many patients and doctors become too reliant on them. It would be more beneficial and less risky to include natural methods of treatment alongside these pharmaceuticals when dealing with rehabilitation. It’s a step that many rehab centers across the country are beginning taking.
Natural Methods Of Overcoming Withdrawal Symptoms
The final connection between physical medicine and rehabilitation relates to the symptoms of withdrawal. These symptoms will vary greatly according to the particular substance that was being abused. Some substances, such as alcohol, can have very dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Typical symptoms of withdrawal include anxiety, insomnia, irritability, depression, nausea, sweating, and pain.
This is the area where natural methods really shine. There is a natural solution for dealing with nearly every symptom mentioned above. And unlike pharmaceuticals, the risks associated with aromatherapy are virtually non-existent. Essential oils are a great tool for overcoming withdrawal symptoms without risking addiction to a new substance.
Oils for anxiety and depression have already been mentioned. Oddly enough, lavender oil also happens to work well for some of the additional symptoms of withdrawal, including nausea, pain, insomnia, and irritability. If you are building a collection of essential oils to help with rehabilitation at home, then lavender oil should clearly be one of your first purchases. Though, you may find other oils that target some of these specific symptoms more efficiently.
Nausea, for example, can be treated with ginger oil.2 Ginger oil is often used for diarrhea, vomiting, stomach aches, and indigestion. In some areas, it is used after surgical procedures to reduce the effects of nausea. It is also frequently used with medications that have nausea listed as a side effect. Ginger essential oil also has minor analgesic properties, which make it effective for reducing pain as well.
Pain associated with withdrawal is most often categorized as muscle pain. And when it comes to muscle pain, eucalyptus oil is considered the best. It has anti-inflammatory properties and also has a cooling effect on the muscles. It can be applied topically to the area in pain as well as inhaled to increase its effectiveness. MONQ’s Ocean Blend has eucalyptus in it to help ease pains.
The Future Of Rehabilitation
Physical medicine remains as important as ever in the rehabilitation process. What is changing is the role that natural treatments play. We are beginning to understand more about essential oils and how they can be used to either replace or improve pharmaceuticals. In time, we will undoubtedly rely less on risky pharmaceuticals and more so on safe and natural oils.
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