Why Some Drug Rehab Facilities Won’t Allow Dogs
There’s also the other side of the coin. Some drug rehab facilities won’t permit dogs to be with their owners during the drug rehab program, no matter what. It doesn’t matter if you make the case that your dog has nowhere else to go or that you can’t bear to be apart from your pet, the policy at these treatment centers is a no-compromise, no-dogs-allowed prohibition.
They’re not geared for it, have found it too intrusive on other patients and individual dog owners, they’re not big enough or don’t have the space to accommodate dogs or the personnel to take care of dogs while the patients are occupied during therapy – the list of reasons includes many of these and even more.
If the drug rehab facility doesn’t allow dogs, and you’re adamant about bringing your dog with you, what should you do? You do have some options.
- Put off going into rehab until you find a drug treatment facility that accepts dogs. This is not recommended, since you can always find a reason to not go into treatment. Using your dog as an excuse is just another exercise in self-denial.
- Keep looking and really put your heart into it until you find a dog-friendly drug rehab facility. They are out there, but don’t expect it to come easily or be cheap. Generally speaking, the more luxury the treatment facility, the more willing they may be to work with you to allow your dog to accompany you to treatment.
- Expect to pay extra to have your dog accompany you to drug rehab. For one thing, this means that you’ll likely need to be in a more expensive residential drug rehab program. That’s because the larger properties will be more likely to have separate accommodations where you can reside with your dog and not cause a problem with your neighboring patients – who may not appreciate a barking dog. There’s also the matter of personnel hired (by you or through the drug rehab facility) to tend to your dog when you are otherwise unavailable, say, during group therapy or other treatment or counseling.
- If the search of drug rehab facilities allowing dogs in your area turns up dry, you may need to consider expanding your treatment facility search in another city or state. This does add to the expense, since you’ll need to factor in travel to and from the drug rehab facility for you and your dog.
- Of course, if you have a service dog or have been prescribed one after returning from military duty and suffering from PTSD, make sure you let the drug rehab facility know of the circumstances. This will perhaps make a difference in whether or not they permit your dog to come with you into treatment.
Things to Keep in Mind
Above all, you need to keep front and center in your mind the reason why you’re going into drug rehab in the first place. You want to overcome your substance abuse or co-occurring disorder. You want to detox and get on the road to healing. You don’t want anything to stand in your way, nor do you want to engage in self-defeating behavior that stops you from going into treatment.
You also need to be more focused on finding the right treatment facility for your addiction or addictions. Other factors to take into consideration include the facility’s success rate with patients with your type of addiction, whether or not your insurance covers the treatment program, and many other concerns. Having your dog with you should not be the biggest consideration on your list. Just keep this in the back of your mind as you explore various drug rehab facilities.
Maybe, just maybe, you can consider the unthinkable. Ask a family member or loved one to take your dog into their home during the period while you are away at rehab. If necessary, look for a place to board your pet. Yes, it hurts to be separated from your dog, but you’re going to be so much better prepared to love and be with your pet when you’ve completed your rehab and are once again back home.
Keep the goal in sight at all times. You need to commit to your sobriety, do the hard work to get going on the path of recovery, and give yourself time to heal.
Sure, it would be great if you can find a drug rehab facility that welcomes you and your dog, but this shouldn’t be the deal-breaker. If it is, you’ve got more serious reservations that you need to get past and the sooner you tend to it, the sooner you’ll be well on your way to getting the help you so want and need.
Don’t put off going into drug rehab because of a concern that your dog may not be able to come with you. Your dog will be right there to welcome you with a big tail wag and doggie kiss when you do return home.