New Treatments for Old Addictions

New hollistic therapies reach even the hardest struggling addicts.

Amery Ewing- Moore starts her male yoga 12-step session at the Oxford Centre with meditation. Photo by Kaity Eldridge

Contrary to what may seem obvious, relaxation takes effort. The right place, the right things and the right people are needed to reach this state of unwind. The search for this can lead people to substances to relieve stress from daily life.

Amery Ewing- Moore only needs her yoga mat, and is showing others that this is all they need as well.

Amery Ewing- Moore joking with a patient before starting her Yoga 12- Step at The Oxford Centre in Oxford, Miss.Photo by Kaity Eldridge

Moore, 35, is an attorney at law as well as a mother in Oxford and Holly Springs, Miss. She is also a recovering alcoholic, sober for 15 months. She used a yoga 12 -step program to heal herself, and is now using the same techniques to help others.

“I was uncomfortable in my own skin, especially socially. I’d have a murder trial and have to come home and give [my daughter] a bath, and I didn’t know how to separate.”

She teaches a session every week at 9 am at The Oxford Centre, alternating weeks between the males and females in the rehabilitation program.

The yoga 12- step is a holistic approach to addiction therapy. Holistic therapy is all encompassing of physical, mental and emotional therapy. Holistic therapy is the psychological alternative to medical treatment. Other holistic approaches to therapy include art, music and other forms of exercise.

Moore leads a full body stretch. Photo by Kaity Eldridge

“I can walk into yoga class and get on my mat and feel like a different human being when I leave,” Moore said.

Holistic approaches to therapy are beneficial in even the most extreme of addiction cases, including one of the worst, the addiction to methamphetamine. The Oxford Centre, where Moore works directly with rehabilitation patients, experiments with holistic therapy, changing their approach on a patient- by- patient basis.

In January of 2015, The Oxford Centre began experimental therapy sessions, targeting specific success points for each patient through holistic approaches.

The city of Oxford’s drug courts even open their doors for experimental therapy options. Lindsey Babb, probation and parol agent sees the benefits for yoga and other holistic therapies for her own patients.

“We are always exploring new options and always have new resources to test,” Babb said.

Even though other drugs are more mainstream and being used in a larger mass, meth is the only one that can be made at home from over the counter products. Meth is also one of the most dangerous drugs medically, affecting a user’s thought process, emotional stability, and rotting users’ teeth, according to the DEA Resource Guide. Its effect on dopamine levels in the brain causes instability and manic behavior.

55 cases of methamphetamine possession and intent to distribute charges have been made since 2012 in Lafayette County, according to the Oxford Narcotics Unit, including both college age students and adults in the county.

Narcotics also reported that Ice is the most common form of the drug they are confiscating. Ice is the purest form of meth, increasing the addictiveness and the likelihood of overdose.

“To me, when they stopped the legal purchase of Pseudo-ephedrine in Mississippi, is when the doors were opened for Ice to come in,” Autum Pierce, an Oxford Centre therapist, said.

Another fallacy about relaxation is that it needs to be in a relaxing space. In a small, square room, about 30 square feet, nine full grown men sat down on their yoga mats, not but an inch or so from each other. Spare tables lined the walls, being stored here for other occasions within the facility. Boxes and chairs were piled in the corners, and there was hardly room to walk about at all.

The scene of a large group of “guy’s guys,” deeply enthused by yoga was a sight by itself, but the space did not even seem to register with the men, who were completely concentrated on the stretches and Moore’s every word of inspiration.

As soon Moore, not an inch over 5’2, rolls out and sits on her mat, the energy in the room changed from hectic, cramped chaos to calm relaxation. She turns the lights off, and the men responded to her every command, breathing in and out slowly as Moore beckons to inhale and exhale, as she reads the quote “He that will not apply new remedies must expect new problems; for time is the biggest innovator.”

Moore teaches a specific 12- step program started by Rolf Gates called Meditations from the Mat. Moore even reads inspirational and thought provoking quotes from the book to her patients.

“The yoga itself helps the addicts to feel better physically, but I offer a safe place in general for them to deal with their addictions,” Moore said.

Moore does more than just teach the patients yoga, she talks to them and allows them an outlet. Photo By Kaity Eldridge
Fact Sheet on Meth Addiction. Info Graphic by Kaity Eldridge
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