Traditional Meets Holistic: The Importance of a Safe and Customized Detox for Recovery From Alcohol Addiction

Addiction Recovery Publishing Alcohol Addiction October 13, 2023

Traditional Meets Holistic: The Importance of a Safe and Customized Detox for Recovery From Alcohol Addiction

Many people may not realize how high the relapse rates currently are in the U.S. According to Current Psychiatry Reports, “It has long been known that addictive disorders are chronic and relapsing in nature. Recent estimates from clinical treatment studies suggest that more than two-thirds of individuals relapse within weeks to months of initiating treatment.” Also, “For 1-year outcomes across alcohol, nicotine, weight, and illicit drug abuse, studies show that more than 85% of individuals relapse and return to drug use within 1 year of treatment.” Many of these individuals relapse because they weren’t afforded the opportunity for a customized detox.

The Importance of a Professionally Supervised Detox for Alcohol Addiction

Being able to have a customized detox can be critical for ultimately healing at the cellular level. Also, the most important component of that customized detox equation is the presence of medical professionals and addiction and recovery specialists.

Ensuring that a detox is properly supervised is absolutely paramount. Also, this is not just for long-term recovery (though it is a vital factor). It is for emotional and physical safety. While detoxes are common and are nothing to be guarded against, they are also very serious business.

When people have been saturated with alcohol and/or other substances for long periods of time, their bodies not only become accustomed to them but, in some instances, require them. So, detoxification from these substances should be taken very seriously because there can be some dangerous side effects if not done under the supervision of professionals. This is especially true when detoxing from alcohol.

The Specific Dangers of Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol detox can be intense. But, with the proper resources and people, it can be significantly less so. 

According to the peer-reviewed article Complications of Alcohol Withdrawal: Pathophysiological Insights, “Disease processes or events that accompany acute alcohol withdrawal (AW) can cause significant illness and death. Some patients experience seizures, which may increase in severity with subsequent AW episodes. Another potential AW complication is delirium tremens, characterized by hallucinations, mental confusion, and disorientation.” Also, these are not the only potential side effects.

The article continues by explaining that “Cognitive impairment and delirium [from AW] may lead to a chronic memory disorder (i.e., Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome).” Also, “Psychiatric problems associated with withdrawal include anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbance. In addition, alterations in physiology, mood, and behavior may persist after acute withdrawal has subsided, motivating relapse to heavy drinking.” This leads us back to the relapse statistics mentioned earlier. 

However, a safe and customized detox can better ward off the potential for relapse. But what exactly does a customized detox look like? Don’t they all look the same? No, not all detoxes are created equally. Unfortunately, many detoxes resemble each other, and many of these are, ultimately, ineffective.

What Does a Customized Detox Look Like?

The thing about describing a customized detox is that they should all look, at least slightly, different. A quality customized detox will be individualized, and it will be based on a few factors.

The first factor is how severe the alcohol addiction is. Alcohol addiction can be broken down into stages, and if an individual’s addiction is in the later stages, there is going to be a more intense process (most likely involving medication)

The second factor is what type of diagnosis the individual has. Yes, the detox is for substance use disorder (SUD), but if there are any other comorbidities of mental health, this must be factored in. 

Also, comorbidities are not uncommon in people struggling with SUD. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “7.7 million adults have co-occurring mental and substance use disorders. This doesn’t mean that one caused the other and it can be difficult to determine which came first.” Also, “Of the 20.3 million adults with substance use disorders, 37.9% also had mental illnesses,” and among “the 42.1 million adults with mental illness, 18.2% also had substance use disorders.”

The third factor is actually multiple factors. These have to do with personal characteristics. This includes spiritual beliefs, value sets, family backgrounds, home life, and physical and emotional goals. These are the factors that can help a recovery center not only customize a detox but also start to cultivate and customize a recovery plan. For us here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, this includes holistic modalities.

Understanding a Traditional Medical Detox Integrated With a Holistic Approach

There is now a relatively large consensus among the addiction recovery community that holistic treatment options (also known as complementary and alternative medicine) can be highly effective at treating issues of addiction and mental illness. However, they are not being used in many detoxes the way that they should. They should be used alongside traditional medical options, not in place of them. This is especially true when it comes to detox and the dangers that a mismanaged one may bring.

According to the article, Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Substance Use Disorders: A Scientometric Analysis and Visualization of Its Use Between 2001 and 2020, “Considering that the relapse rate of treatment is high despite recommended treatment guidelines, treatment services should be integrated and combined with complementary services.” However, the article then explains how “[c]omplementary and alternative medicine (CAM) offers therapeutic practices that are not typically used in current conventional allopathic medical practice, such as diet, acupuncture, and meditation.” But, while the rest of the industry catches up, we here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab are already offering holistic options for the detox process.

Utilizing a Customized Detox to Aid in Nutrient Replenishment

Many people do not realize how depleted of nutrients people struggling with addiction can actually become. According to the scientific article Mechanisms of Vitamin Deficiencies in Alcoholism, “Chronic alcoholic patients are frequently deficient in one or more vitamins. The deficiencies commonly involve folate, vitamin B6, thiamine, and vitamin A.” 

Now, while traditional medical detoxes do address some of these deficiencies, they do not address them all. Also, they do not address them with the level of intensity that is often required to get someone back up to optimal nutrient levels for recovery. That is how someone can start to heal at the cellular level. Naturopathy and a naturopath doctor can help make this happen.

A Holistic Approach: What Is Naturopathy and How Can a Licensed Naturopathic Doctor Help With a Customized Detox?

Now, many people are probably unaware of what “naturopathy” even is. This is understandable. There are only 15 states that currently recognize licensure for naturopathic doctors (NDs). Luckily for us here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, Hawaii is one of those states.

According to the article Naturopathy, and the Primary Care Practice by Doctors Fleming and Gutknecht, “Naturopathy is a distinct type of primary care medicine that blends age-old healing traditions with scientific advances and current research. It is guided by a unique set of principles that recognize the body’s innate healing capacity, emphasize disease prevention, and encourage individual responsibility to obtain optimal health. Naturopathic treatment modalities include diet and clinical nutrition, behavioral change, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, botanical medicine, physical medicine, pharmaceuticals, and minor surgery.” They can also help with customized homeopathic detoxes.

We are also fortunate to have one of the most highly regarded NDs in the country working directly with us on our 30-acre luxury recovery center as our medical director. Dr. Bryce Healy is a naturopathic doctor who blends his expertise in both traditional and holistic medicine to help the body naturally detox while also staying medically safe. 

Dr. Healy also utilizes the findings from each client’s bloodwork to determine the types of vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant deficiencies that will be needed to heal at the root/core level. These findings can then be utilized and integrated into our customized nutritional therapy program. While we respect and are grateful for all of the medications that are available to make a detox medically safe, our goal is to get our clients on a natural path to recovery as soon as possible.

The Benefits of Nutritional Therapy for Treating Alcohol Addiction

Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we have a saying, “Food is Medicine,” and we mean it. At our 30-acre luxury recovery center, we ditch the “chemical cuisine” for healthy, locally sourced, nutrient-rich foods. Also, these foods are not a “chore” to eat either. Our five-star-rated chefs create all of our meals right on the property, and they customize them to each client’s dietary preferences.

Nutrition therapy is an exceptional way to heal the body without having to add excess chemicals into the mix. Also, new, exciting studies have brought newfound attention to nutrition therapy.

According to the 2022 article Nutrition and Mental Health: A Review of Current Knowledge About the Impact of Diet on Mental Health, “Applied psychopharmacotherapy and psychotherapy do not always bring the expected treatment result. As a result, other interventions are receiving increasing attention. In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in research on the effects of nutrition on mental status, which may be an important aspect of the prevention of many mental disorders, and at the same time may lead to a reduction in the proportion of people with mental disorders.” So, not only can nutrition help heal those already struggling, but it can also stop someone from struggling in the future. This is seriously exciting stuff. 

The Benefits of Infusion Therapy for Treating Alcohol Addiction

Infusion therapy is also a relatively unknown therapy that has been shown to have many beneficial effects for individuals recovering from alcohol addiction. Also, infusion therapy can be an essential part of a customized detox because it can provide the necessary nutrients that we have been discussing. It can also provide them at a very rapid rate.

Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we are excited to be able to integrate several infusions into our customized detox options. These infusions include nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) IV infusions, Myers cocktails IV infusions, and glutathione infusions.

Now, these infusions offer an array of benefits. All of which can be beneficial to anyone currently in detox or just making their way out of detox. For example, NAD+ IV infusions can significantly reduce withdrawal symptoms while also increasing energy, helping with focus, reducing stress, and enhancing mood. 

Myers cocktail IV infusions offer some of the same benefits but also some that are wholly unique. These types of IV infusions can help enhance immunity, decrease inflammation of the joints, help with sleep quality, and increase energy levels. Also, something unique and rather telling about its efficacy is that Myers cocktails can actually help with skin complexion and hair growth due to the way that the nutrients are absorbed into the blood. 

Now, glutathione infusions can be particularly helpful when it comes to treating alcohol addiction because they help to get rid of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that build up over time. These infusions also help to reduce the stress that ethanol has put on the body during the course of active addiction. They also improve brain health, emotional health, and mental clarity.

The Benefits of Acupuncture for Treating Alcohol Addiction

Acupuncture has been shown to have many positive effects when used to treat alcohol and other substance addictions. It is also one of the more recognized holistic modalities in Western medicine.

According to the article Acupuncture Therapy for Drug Addiction, “Prominent effects of acupuncture are increases in the levels of enkephalin, epinephrine, endorphin, serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the central nervous system and plasma that might mediate substance abuse.” Also, “Acupuncture has been used to treat addiction for three decades. For example, auricular acupuncture (AA) is effective in treating alcohol and drug abuse in both Europe and the United States.” We also offer other holistic modalities for our safe and custom detoxes, such as meditation, mindfulness, breathing exercises, and yoga.

The Benefits of Yoga for Treating Alcohol Addiction

Yoga has been around for thousands of years. Yet, it has only really caught on in the Western part of the world in the last 100 years or so. It has been an even short time since yoga has been looked at as a safe and effective treatment option for alcohol addiction.

Yoga has many benefits, all of which can be vital for someone looking to detox naturally from alcohol and/or other substances. According to the International Journal of Yoga, “One of the main goals of yoga is to achieve tranquility of the mind and create a sense of well-being, feelings of relaxation, improved self-confidence, improved efficiency, increased attentiveness, lowered irritability, and an optimistic outlook on life. The practice of yoga generates balanced energy, which is vital to the function of the immune system,” and “Yoga leads to an inhibition of the posterior or sympathetic area of the hypothalamus.”

Also, there may be no better place to practice yoga than on the Hamakua Coast on Hawaii’s Big Island. Here, our clients can avoid the clinical detox room and instead opt for a customized detox that includes yoga on the beach. Instead of staring at a white wall, our clients will look over the horizon line of the Pacific Ocean as they breathe and meditate. It is a beautiful thing.

Safe, Comprehensive, and Customized Detox and Recovery Plans at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab

On Hawaii’s Big Island we like to say “He kehau ho`oma`ema`e ke aloha.” This roughly translates to “Love is like a dew that cleanses us all.” Now, this is the embodiment of what a safe and customized detox can offer. It is the cleanse that waits for us after we are ready to accept help.

Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we understand how intimidating entering a detox can feel. But, with our customized approach, it doesn’t have to be intimidating. Our detox can be the “cleansing dew” that washes away the old and represents a new beginning of a healthy and alcohol-free life that was once thought unimaginable. 

Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we offer a unique and customized approach to each client’s detox. We utilize various levels of detox intensity based on the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) guidelines onsite or, if needed, with our reputable medical partners and facilities on the Island. We also take extra steps to garner information from a client’s bloodwork to help our licensed naturopathic doctor, certified nutritionists, and dieticians determine the next steps for the necessary supplements and nutrition needed to accomplish recovery at the cellular level. To learn more about how we enmesh traditional medical detox methods with our holistic detox approach for a more safe and comfortable experience, please reach out to us today at (808) 775-0200.