How Effective is Hypnosis for Addiction?

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  • Written By: Sara Schmidt
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 19 June 2018
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While many people seek out hypnosis for addiction treatment each year, its effectiveness in treating addiction is widely debated. Since the research on hypnosis for addiction, or any other health issue, is inconclusive, patients tend to weigh whether or not to engage in treatment, based on personal preference. Testimonials from friends and family are also usually considered prior to using hypnotherapy.

Some experts claim that hypnotherapy is not at all effective in treating anything, including addiction. Others completely support the power of the mind over matter, claiming that hypnosis for addiction is very effective. Still other scientists maintain that while hypnotherapy may be helpful in treating patients for some things, using it for medical conditions, such as drug addiction, is ineffective.

Many physicians agree that there is not sufficient evidence to support hypnosis as a medical treatment. Some positive results have indicated that hypnosis for addiction may be effective in some cases. Success rates in such instances, however, are typically small to moderate, and many studies have been reported from questionable sources. Most health care professionals recommend that patients who wish to engage in hypnosis as a treatment should also employ other methods as well, such as rehabilitation, drug therapy, or counseling.


Like other medical conditions, addiction often requires the help of a health care professional. Though some people use alternative treatments for addiction side effects, such as hypnosis for withdrawal, it is generally recommended that patients receive supervised care while experiencing these painful bodily reactions. In terms of street drug use, there is little to no evidence to support that hypnosis for addiction is equal to or better than other forms of therapy, or even better than engaging in no treatment whatsoever.

Enough individual cases of successful hypnosis exist, however, to have prompted many medical teams to hire a hypnotherapist as part of their practice. Hypnotherapy is often listed as an available health service in many different health centers. People who wish to end addition to drugs, cigarettes, gambling, and other vices often seek out such treatments. Some people find relief through hypnotherapy while others do not.

Several other health issues have been remedied by hypnosis as well. Sexual issues are sometimes resolved through hypnosis. Some people wishing to lose weight have found that hypnotherapy can be a helpful part of their strategy. Hypnotherapy has helped to improve various confidence issues, sports performances, and stress management for some people. Hypnosis does not work for everyone, and when it is successful, it is often in conjunction with other forms of therapy or treatment.



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