How Do Pets Help With Healing In Addiction Rehab?
Anyone who has ever had a pet knows the healing power of animals. Having a pet makes you feel needed and loved. A pet provides you with a responsibility outside yourself. Animals lower your blood pressure, relax you and help you cope with stress.
It should come as little surprise to hear that pets can be great partners in drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Rehab statistics regarding pets as part of treatment are minimal, but as animal therapy becomes more popular, they are sure to show that pets are a positive part of addiction treatment.
Animal-Assisted Therapy In Addiction Rehab
Using animals in therapy isn’t a new concept, but it hasn’t been applied to addiction treatment for very long. Therapy animals (which are most often dogs but can also include cats, horses and other animals) are often used in situations and settings where people need comfort.
Nursing homes, hospitals, hospices and various types of residential homes allow certified therapy animals to be brought in to bring comfort, stress relief and a distraction to patients and residents.
Drug rehab statistics do not have much to say about animal therapy playing a role in treatment. This is changing, though, as facilities and caregivers realize just how beneficial animals can be to any healing process, including addiction treatment.
Benefits Of Pet-Therapy
Spending time with and petting an animal has many benefits, including:
- lowered blood pressure
- reduced anxiety
- a stabilized mood
- better anger management
- improved self-esteem and
- lower tension and stress
All of these benefits can help an addict in recovery heal and can also reduce the risk of having a relapse.
Are There Any Inpatient Rehabs That Accept Pets?
Rehab facilities are using animal-assisted therapy more and more in treatment for addiction. Field trips to visit therapy horses or visits to the rehab facility from therapy dogs are becoming more common and are great ways to help addicts feel better. However, most rehab centers will still not allow a personal pet to come along for a patient’s stay.
This doesn’t mean it is impossible. There are some enlightened locations that realize just how important pets are in people’s lives. Therapy animals are great, but to have your beloved pet beside you as you get treatment is even better. If you search, you can find facilities that will allow you to bring your companion animal.
If you’re wondering what happens in drug rehab and you’re nervous about going in for a residential stay, knowing that animals will be a part of the program can be a big relief. Animals bring comfort and a feeling of unconditional love and loyalty. They won’t judge you and will make you feel better just by letting you pet them.
If you can bring your own pet to rehab and therapy, you are lucky. If you can’t, you can still benefit from spending time with the dogs and other animals trained to work as animal therapists.
Healing Is Possible!