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Complimentary Interventions in Addiction Treatment
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes

CEUs available at:

~ Explore various types of complimentary therapies which can be used in the treatment of chemical and behavioral addictions.
~ Each person is unique.
~ Biology
~ Willingness to take medication
~ Triggers for use
~ Complimentary Interventions in this presentation are those treatments that are added on to compliment counseling and/or traditional medication assisted therapy
Concurrent Treatment for Biological Issues
~ Thyroid
~ Cardiovascular
~ Gonadal hormones
~ Chronic Pain
~ Chiropractics
~ Massage
~ Exercise
~ Apnea
~ Autoimmune /Inflammatory issues
~ Mental Health Issues caused by neurochemical imbalance due to genetics or the effects of tolerance/withdrawal
~ Acupuncture is one of the more widely used alternative therapies within the context of addictions and behavioral health treatment (SAMHSA)
~ It reduces cravings, improves mood and has been associated with a reduction in psychotic symptoms
~ Acupressure
~ Use of magnets “seeds”
~ Use of lasers and “electro-acupuncture”
Brain Modulation
~ Current research on these treatments is anecdotal or limited at best but they show promise
~ Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has shown some promise for reducing cravings in the short term
~ EEG & fMRI Neurofeedback patients learn to modulate their own brain activity through feedback from the MRI or EEG machine. It has shown some promise for reducing cravings
~ Deep Brain Stimulation (invasive): Case studies report prolonged abstinence of opioids or alcohol with ventral striatal DBS
~ Using resting heart rate / pulse and respiration patients are able to
~ Reduce their systemic hyperarousal (HPA-Axis)
~ Increase their feelings of control over their emotions and urges
~ Altered the information flow from the prefrontal cortex to the default mode network (wakeful rest)
~ There is a growing body of preclinical and clinical evidence to support use of CBD oils for many conditions, suggesting its potential role as another option for treating challenging chronic pain or addiction
~ CBD & stimulants
~ Prevention of drug-induced neuroadaptations (excitotoxicity)
~ Reverses cognitive deficits
~ Alleviates symptoms of comorbid mental disorders
Light Therapy
~ Light Therapy helps reset circadian rhythms
~ Sleep
~ Hunger
~ Cortisol levels (energy)
~ Sunlight increases vitamin D which has been shown to improve mood, reduce inflammation and regulate circadian rhythms
~ Some studies have shown decreased craving via hypnotic aversion suggestions through top-down regulation of the prefrontal cortex as evidenced through MRIs
~ Some people use Kratom to self-detox from opioids or alcohol. Currently this is not a medically approved approach.
~ Kratom can cause effects similar to both opioids and stimulants producing sedation, pleasure, and decreased pain
~ Kratom is not illegal and not regulated for purity or potency by the FDA
~ Kratom takes effect after five to 10 minutes, and its effects last two to five hours.
~ In animals, kratom appears to be more potent than morphine.
~ Kratom can be addictive
~ Addiction is a biopsychosocial condition
~ No single treatment or intervention is likely sufficient for sustained recovery.
~ Many complimentary therapies help rebalance the neurotransmitters / CNS which often underly craving, withdrawal symptoms and mood issues which are being self-medicated.
~ Many therapies can be used in conjunction to address the myriad of underlying issues contributing to relapse risk (depression, anxiety, low self efficacy, insomnia, fatigue, pan)