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How Adjunctive Treatments Are Used During Medication Withdrawal

Last Updated on March 22, 2023 by Diane Ridaeus

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

What Are Adjunctive Treatments?

For decades the term adjunctive treatments, or adjunctive therapies, would primarily refer to the use of talk therapy, counseling, and behavioral health therapy, to improve health generally, especially during medication management. The first-line standard treatment for most psychiatric symptoms is pharmaceutical drugs. Additional therapies to support medication-based treatment are termed adjunctive to drug therapy. Today, there are uncountable medications that are prescribed to treat every feeling or symptom, condition, or label, under the sun. For most people who are suffering from depression, trauma, or addiction, the usual, and first recommendation is typically psychiatric drugs.  Unfortunately, prescription drug use often introduces long-term dependency. Medications are given so frequently, that according to the IQVia Total Patient Tracker (TPT) Database, there were 32,144,720 people on medications in 2017 in the United States. According to this data, individuals aged 45-64 make up the largest section of medication users.

Considering an Alternative to Medications?

Many people are looking for new ways to feel healthy …

Being told you will need medication every day for the rest of your life can be a hard pill to swallow, and for many, finding a better way to heal themselves becomes a top priority.  For someone beginning the process of exploring alternatives to meds, it can help to have a community of like-minded support and care. For those that have been dependent on medication long term, becoming free from psychiatric meds can be one of the biggest moments of their lives. However, without the proper advice and treatment, coming off the medication can be a difficult process to endure. Stories of quitting Klonopin cold turkey, or other medications, make many people have second thoughts about attempting to live life without being dependent on medications.

Plan for success. When someone sets the goal of becoming medication free, a plan should be developed with a doctor or licensed specialist, and typically, there will be a lot of questions or worries. At Alternative to Meds Center, we have helped thousands of individuals and families develop a plan to approach recovery for their loved ones.

Common Questions About Coming Off Medications:

  • What will life be like without my medication?
  • What happens if I get depressed?
  • Will there be medication withdrawal symptoms?
  • How long do the symptoms last?
  • What is protracted withdrawal?

Keep in mind that many people who have become dependent on the medication have been through such difficult circumstances that they don’t believe they will ever recover.

Alternative to Meds Center has helped thousands of people find hope and recover from Medication Withdrawal, side effects, and even helps to discover the underlying causes of symptoms.

We offer a wealth of treatment options, all holistic in nature, that have proven to be effective. Our licensed treatment team develops a strategy that considers genetics, dietary needs, nutrient intake, and many other key factors in maintaining overall balance in one’s mental, physical, and emotional state.

How Adjunctive Treatments Help with Withdrawal Symptoms

The holistic psychiatry approach used at Alternative to Meds Center is designed to help a person achieve a harmonious state of being. Focusing on the mind, body, and spirit, may sound a bit vague, but these concepts are very real, and structured treatment plans provide our clients with many more tools. Every individual treated at ATMC receives medical testing, neurotoxin testing, individualized nutrient protocols, dietary recommendations, one-on-one counseling, as well as creative outlets and mindfulness activities. The goal of the program is to help the person develop a healthy routine for their life so that upon returning home from treatment, there is a solid foundation for continued healing. This all-encompassing approach also helps make a medication taper more bearable for someone who is attempting to become medication free.

Types of Adjunctive Treatments

There are many non-drug-based treatments that are as effective, and sometimes more effective, than medications alone. Here is a short list of some examples, with an expanded description below the list. 

Examples of adjunctive therapies can include: 
  • CBT and other forms of counseling
  • Acupuncture
  • Colon Hydrotherapy
  • Equine therapy
  • Holistic detox
  • Massage therapy
  • Nebulized glutathione treatments
  • Qigong
  • Yoga 


Acupuncture is known to have many health benefits and has been used for thousands of years as a form of treatment for various ailments. At Alternative to Meds Center, we find that acupuncture helps to bring a sense of calmness to the nervous system of those who are going through our medication withdrawal program. Studies show that Acupuncture has benefits for mental health as well as addiction.

Colonics and Basti Enemas

adjunctive treatments for withdrawalThese adjunctive treatments have been used for centuries to help remove toxins from the intestines and internal organs. At ATMC we understand the role the gut plays in overall mental health. Part of achieving balance in one’s mental health is learning to regulate what goes in and out of the body and learn what is healthy for you versus what is harmful. Individuals reliant upon psychiatric drugs for many years often begin to develop issues in the gut, which can cause additional mental symptoms or feelings of discomfort. Poor diet is also a major factor in one’s gut health. An unhealthy diet also leads to many health conditions such as liver disease, diabetes, or heart problems. Our inpatient program takes the steps needed to correct these issues and develops an ongoing strategy for each client to ensure optimal gut health.

Equine Therapy

There are multiple ways equine therapy can benefit a person in the healing process.  As explained by PATH Intl. “Since we know that emotional states in human beings also impact our physiology, it only makes sense that horses can smell or sense (using their vomeronasal organ) those changes. The horse acts as a large biofeedback machine, providing the client and the therapist with information regarding the client’s moods and changes within those moods. If a client arrives anxious the horse will act and respond one way. If the client can reduce his or her anxiety, the horse’s behaviors will also change. This provides a plethora of information and skill-building opportunities for both the client and the therapist.”

Holistic Detox

A foot bath can be part of an effective holistic detox process. A foot detox helps to pull toxins out of the system through the feet. The link provided above shows a color chart that explains the various toxins being pulled from the body through the process. For someone who is suffering additional mental health symptoms due to a toxic burden, or heavy metals toxicity, the ionic foot bath is a simple but effective treatment to consider. Safe chelation and the use of sauna are other cleansing methods used in holistic detox. 


For someone needing a little extra support during the medication withdrawal process, a massage can offer relief on multiple levels. Not only is a massage very relaxing, or calming, but it also helps to pull toxins from the muscles into the bloodstream. Anyone considering coming off medications safely, or just looking for an enjoyable way to aid in the toxin removal process may benefit from implementing massage therapy as an adjunctive treatment option.

Nebulized Glutathione

At Alternative to Meds Center, we realize that individuals are affected by their environment. Glutathione is not only an antioxidant but can help assist in healing damage to the lungs from irritants including smoke, pollution, or smog. For a person wanting to begin a healthier lifestyle, physical activity will likely play a major role. Being able to breathe and have healthy lungs will be key to developing a healthier you.


Tai Chi and Qigong are very popular practices that help to achieve an overall sense of balance and wellness. According to a body of research published in the Journal of Psychiatric Clinics in North America,  

“Two studies found that exercise is comparable with sertraline (Zoloft) in terms of efficacy for treatment of “major depressive disorder”. In studies comparing the benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong with general exercise, both interventions have been shown to have comparable effects at reducing anxiety.”

Sometimes to recover from major symptoms like depression, a person must focus on getting themselves healthy first. Qigong is a time-tested adjunctive treatment that helps many achieve a healthier version of themselves.


According to Harvard Health, yoga practice is a good way to achieve natural stress relief. “By reducing perceived stress and anxiety, yoga appears to modulate stress response systems. This, in turn, decreases physiological arousal — for example, reducing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and easing respiration. There is also evidence that yoga practices help increase heart rate variability, an indicator of the body’s ability to respond to stress more flexibly.

Holistic Psychiatric Programs at Alternative to Meds Center

At Alternative to Meds Center, our clients receive access to the top licensed holistic psychiatric program in the country. A well-rounded treatment philosophy not only helps a person in crisis to feel better but helps the person learn how to deal with mental health symptoms as they arise.

If you or a loved one need assistance with mental health symptoms, medication withdrawal, or environmental toxicity issues, we can help. Please call us anytime for more information on treatment programs, admissions, insurance coverage, and any other questions you may need answers to during your treatment planning phase.


  1. Abbot R, Lavretsky H, Tai Chi and Qigong for the Treatment and Prevention of Psychiatric Disorders. Journal of Psychiatric Clinics of North America, Vol. 36 Issue 1, March 2013, pages 109-119 [cited 2023 Mar 23]

Originally Published Dec 27, 2018 by Diane Ridaeus

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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How Adjunctive Treatments Are Used During Medication Withdrawal
Medical Disclaimer:
Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.

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