Biophysics is defined as the biological processes and the application of methods used in physics to biology.
As it relates to addiction treatment, biophysical rehab programs address the physical health of an addict, and treating each person on the cellular level, or addressing biological problems with physical methods. In laymen’s terms, this is drug rehab which focuses almost entirely on a complete drug detoxification, with the understanding that recovery without relapse is possible when the body is completely free from all metabolites of drugs of abuse.
How Does Biophysical Detox Work?
Considered an alternative form of addiction treatment, biophysical rehab programs do not provide medical detox, except for certain cases of alcohol and benzodiazepine addiction. Withdrawal from these substances can be fatal, without medical supervision and treatment, and therefore cannot be completed safely without such precautions.
In non-fatal cases of drug withdrawal, the approach is one in which includes a more holistic drug-free detoxification with natural supplements.
Part One: Principals of Metabolic Change
The principals of biophysical rehab are based in the idea that all substances and drugs of abuse create instant metabolic changes in the body and brain. The types of changes which can occur depend on the substance, severity of use, and the individual’s overall health. These changes may also have effects on a broad range of body and brain functions, including:
- quality of sleep
- weight maintenance
- low libido
- low immunity
- low energy
These changes, and many others, are due to the toxins from substances and drugs of abuse, which not only result in immediate changes once they are ingested, but can also cause long-term changes, with use or abuse, over an extended period of time.
The human body naturally expels substances and their toxins, after consumption, through metabolizing, or the breaking down of that substance. Metabolizing takes place in the liver, where enzymes break down drugs, into what is called metabolites.
From there, the byproducts (or metabolites) are released from the body through sweat, urination, or other bodily functions.
Not all substances metabolize at the same rate, and this is especially true with drugs of abuse and addiction. For example, most stimulant drugs like cocaine, amphetamines, and crack tend to metabolize faster than longer acting drugs like heroin, marijuana and prescription opioids.
In addition to various metabolic rates for different drugs of abuse, the metabolic theory asserts that, drugs of abuse can actually leave a semi-permanent mark, because they can be stored in fatty tissue throughout the body for periods of several years.
Part Two: Detox
The general principal for a biophysical rehab program is to accomplish a long-term detoxification without the use of any drugs, except in severe cases of alcohol and/or benzodiazepine dependence, where a non-medical detox may be dangerous, and even fatal.
The guiding idea behind this detox is contrary to the majority of drug detox approaches, which typically aim to get a patient through the process as quickly as possible, with the use of medications. However, biophysical programs aim to use natural methods to detoxify patients, after a full examination and clearance from medical staff.
Key components of this process are simple, and include:
- use of vitamins, minerals and oils, as nutritional supplements during the detox process
- dry sauna treatments with plenty of drinking water, to sweat out the toxic metabolites from drug consumption
The goal of completely removing all drug metabolites is based on the principal that, if they are not completely expelled from a patient’s system, drug metabolites store in fatty tissue, and are eventually released back into the blood system, which is the main cause of cravings and relapse among recovering addicts.
Involved in the process of removing all drug metabolites, is one of the central pieces of the biophysical rehab programs; a staunch disagreement with drug therapy to treat drug addiction.
So, what does that mean?
One of the most widely accepted and applied forms of drug rehab, especially for opioid and alcohol addictions, is drug replacement therapy, which can include things like opiate maintenance (i.e. methadone or buprenorphine) for individuals addicted to opioids, or Naltrexone for alcoholics.
The process through which biophysical rehab takes place, rejects the notion that more drugs are needed to treat drug addiction. The premise is that drugs are drugs, and all drugs are toxic to the body. This form of addiction rehabilitation aims to clear the body of all drugs, through which a true recovery from addiction is possible.
Part Three: Therapeutic Rehabilitation
Once the detoxification process is complete, the rehabilitative therapy can begin. This portion of the treatment process is similar to traditional rehab programs, complete with individual and group therapy sessions, in a concentrated effort to address the root causes of the drug and alcohol abuse, which lead to addiction.
Differentiating itself from traditional drug rehab programs, biophysical treatment has clear and focused concentrations on certain aspects of recovery from addiction, rather than offering a litany of various options from which individuals may choose to focus. The biophysical rehabilitation process focuses on 4 main elements, all of which are centrally focused on the complete recovery of each individual.
- Light Exercise
It is well known in the fitness and recovery community that exercise stimulates endorphin production, which is responsible for feelings of well-being. Endorphins are released in enormously unnatural amounts during the abuse of mood altering drugs. The absence of such drugs, after long-term use can lead to a deficiency in the natural production of endorphins, leading to higher a potential for relapse.
Biophysical rehab programs use light exercise to help stimulate the production of these endorphins, restoring a drug-free sense of well-being. The protocol in this rehab is to not overdo an exercise regimen, due to a concern that too much exercise may result in the release of too many toxins too quickly. This may overwhelm the body, and for that reason, exercise routines are carefully planned for optimal benefits, according to each individual’s health and personal circumstances.
- Nutritional Supplements
Drug and alcohol abuse have many detrimental effects on the human body, one of the most dangerous being the depletion of nutrients and essential vitamins, which have many benefits, including immune system efficiency.
In biophysical rehab programs, a specific nutritional supplement plan is created for an individual, in order to restore healthy levels of amino fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants. Since each person is different, it is important to meet with a trained professional prior to beginning this supplement regimen, especially if there are pre-existing medical conditions or any corresponding medications which need to be taken.
- Medical Sauna Treatments
Separate from many tradition rehabs, biophysical rehab programs use dry sauna treatments as a central aspect in the process. Dry sauna treatments are the process by which additional toxins are removed from the body through sweat. While this process is not for everyone, specifically those with certain medical conditions, with guidance and medical clearance, dry sauna treatments have been shown to be effective forms of detoxification, and provide a complete expulsion of toxins from the body.
- Education and Counseling
Finally, biophysical drug rehab contains an educational and counseling component. Education focuses on substance abuse, mental health, nutrition, exercise and healthy life skills, all in an effort to promote a healthy and sober existence.
The counseling component focuses on the underlying issues, such as depression or anxiety, which may have lead to substance abuse from the beginning. Often, individuals who abuse, and become addicted to drugs and alcohol, begin with some form of self-medicating to change their mood or mentality. Through counseling, addicts can work with their therapists to target the cause of their initial drug use, and begin to work towards addressing it for emotional healing.
The Right Drug Rehab for You
Biophysical drug rehab is one of the newer forms of alternative drug treatment which is becoming more widely available, as the treatment industry continues to develop more options for those in need of detox and rehabilitation services.
As it is with any form of treatment, biophysical rehab is not for everyone, and it is important for each individual seeking treatment to understand, and carefully weigh the benefits and potential issues with the various forms of treatment available.
If you or a loved one are struggling with drug abuse or addiction, please call us now to discuss options in your area, and the form of treatment which may be best for your specific circumstance. Addiction is dangerous and continues to get worse, the longer it goes untreated. We are here to help you find the best solution for your situation, so please do not wait another day, Call us now, and begin your path to recovery from addiction.
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