In the early 1800s, a German pharmacist introduced medicinal morphine after isolating the alkaloid from opium poppy plants. In modern medicine, the narcotic treats severe pain by binding to opioid receptors in the central nervous system to reduce nerve transmissions. Morphine is considered the gold standard for pharmaceutical pain management, but its potential for abuse and dependence landed the drug in the most restricted class of controlled substances, Schedule II. Should someone develop an addiction or dependence to this drug, then treatment centers can help with supervised detox, integrated mental health care, behavioral therapies, enhanced coping skills and other services. Meanwhile, homeopathic treatments represent complementary care that may keep users from relapse.
First developed in Germany around the same time as morphine, homeopathic medicine is based on the following principles:
Treatment centers may taper drug dosage to wean patients off morphine, but homeopathic remedies do not give opiates to addicts. Rather, homeopathic addiction treatment uses remedies made up of foods, plants and other natural substances. Examples of homeopathic herbs include the calming passion flower and mood-balancing St. John’s Wort, though its remedies are often blends in pill or liquid forms.
In 2005, the Dutch medicinal journal Allgemeine Homoopathische Zeitung writes that 70% of patients they surveyed said homeopathic treatment helped them recover from addiction; the British Journal of General Practice notes secondary homeopathic effects on behavior that can help with addiction recovery. Likewise, the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse in 2003 surveyed intravenous drug users in treatment, and they rate the perceived effectiveness of alternative therapies at 4.1 on a scale of 1 to 5. While homeopathy is more accepted in Europe, the Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care journal in 2002 notes that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments are now taught in half of all US medical schools.
Homeopathy has its detractors, but it also has the following benefits:
A study published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal in 2007 finds that CAM therapies are especially common among opioid users with chronic pain issues. If morphine addiction arises from treating pain, then homeopathic remedies that reduce pain can minimize a relapse trigger.
A 2013 issue of Psychology Today questions the efficacy of holistic therapies, but the biggest concern about homeopathic remedies may be using them apart from traditional treatment. Westley Clark, Director of the Center of Substance Abuse Treatment, said it best when he said alternative therapies might help recoveries as they long as they are adjuncts, not replacements, for evidence-based practices.
If you have questions about homeopathic addiction treatment, then call all our toll-free, 24 hour helpline now. Our admissions coordinators can discuss treatment options, recommend facilities and provide whatever information you need to begin recovery. They can also look up health insurance plans to explain their rehab benefits. Call now for instant support.