Acupuncture and homeopathy have been used to treat withdrawal symptoms. Meditation, yoga, and reiki healing have been recommended for process addictions; however, the success of these programs has not been well documented through controlled studies.
The prognosis for recovery from any addiction depends on the substance or process, the individual's circumstances, and underlying personality structure. People who have multiple substance dependencies have the worst prognosis for recovery. It is not uncommon for someone in a treatment program to have a relapse, but the success rate increases with subsequent treatment programs.
Recovery from substance use is notoriously difficult, even with exceptional treatment resources. Although relapse rates are difficult to accurately obtain, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism cites evidence that 90 percent of alcohol dependent users experience at least one relapse within four years after treatment. Relapse rates for heroin and nicotine users are believed to be similar. Certain pharmacological treatments, however, have been shown to reduce relapse rates. Relapses are most likely to occur within the first 12 months of having discontinued substance use. Triggers for relapses can include any number of life stresses (problems in school or on the job, loss of a relationship, death of a loved one, financial stresses), in addition to seemingly mundane exposure to a place or an acquaintance associated with previous substance use.
The most effective form of prevention appears to be a stable family that models responsible attitudes toward mood-altering substances and behaviors. Prevention education programs are also widely used to inform young people of the harmfulness of substance abuse.
Bill Asanjo MS, CRC, Ken R. Wells, Thomson Gale, Gale, Detroit,