It’s common for people struggling with substance abuse to have furry friends that they cherish as part of their family. Pet friendly drug rehabs, are able to think outside the realm of traditional treatment settings. Using progressive thinking to leverage support in the direction of a sober life. Checking into a treatment facility is a difficult step to take. For a pet owner, the idea of going an extended period of time without getting to see your pet makes the idea more difficult. When you’re an animal lover, your pet is so much more than just a pet, it is a source of happiness, responsibility, and support. We’re animal lovers too, and we think there are some very clear health benefits from being able to bring your pet to rehab with you.
What Is Pet Therapy?
Pet therapy is a broad term including animal-assisted therapy and other activities with animal assistance. In the growing field of animal-assisted therapy, dogs and other animals help people recover or cope with mental and physical diseases and disorders.
In hospitals, for example, animal-assisted therapy is increasingly being used to help improve patients’ moods and sense of optimism.
Specifically, animal-assisted therapy can help people receiving cancer treatment, people with dementia, and individuals with anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Using animal-assisted therapy doesn’t just help the patient. Friends and family members with them during animal visits also say they feel better.
The Healing Power of Animals
In nonmedical settings, pet therapy is used in community programs and universities to help people with stress, anxiety, and mental health disorders.
Emotional support dogs are growing as part of the recovery process for many conditions. There’s a lot of exciting research into the use of comfort animals and emotional support dogs right now.
Benefits of Pet-Friendly Drug Rehab Facilities
There are many benefits to choosing a pet-friendly drug rehab. These benefits range from being a smart financial decision, lower blood pressure, supporting the treatment process, and even increasing the success rate among participants.
Making the Choice to go to Rehab Easier
Frequently, individuals are forced to decide between receiving treatment or not based on their choice to keep pets.
You may not have anybody you trust to look over your pet, concerned over traumatizing your pet by being away from them for so long or may not feel emotionally strong enough to be away yourself.
Development of a Sense of Responsibility
Caring for a pet requires a good amount of work. A good pet owner needs to accept responsibility and make the right decisions for their furry friend.
These selfless acts help a person develop a sense of responsibility that can be very beneficial in their recovery goals.
Understanding that animals have needs of their own, people in recovery may be more motivated to take care of their health as well.
More Physical Activity
Research has shown that physical activity can help reduce the relapse rate during the stages of recovery.
Since many pets require some outdoor activity, addiction treatment programs encourage healing through healthy physical activity.
Improved Social Benefits
Pet-friendly rehab centers provide a community for those who have a passion and bond with their pets.
Pet communities transcend age, race, gender, and socioeconomic status.
Additionally, pet owners tend to form bonds with other pet owners in recovery.
These connections not only help facilitate an appropriate recovery process; they also are a source of comfort.
They also serve as the foundation for your support group. (which is an essential part of aftercare, across all addiction treatment programs)
Helping to Develop a Healthy Routine
Pets offer unconditional love and force people into a routine whether they want it or not.
These animals bring on patterns and structure which may have been absent in your life before them.
A pet-friendly drug rehab facility can help you create new habits and focus on your sobriety.
All while providing a safe, clean environment for your pet while you are in treatment.
These routines involve waking up at a reasonable time, exercise, social interaction, proper nutrition, doctor visits, and more.
Instant Morale Booster
A person’s mood and emotions can be positively influenced by bringing pets to treatment. A pet can give a person a reason to get up in the morning and look forward to the day ahead of them. Benefits of pet-friendly rehab centers include developing meaningful relationships, giving hope for a better future, and moving toward that future. You can learn many things from animals in settings like treatment centers. What’s more, since animals don’t judge past behaviors, they help addicts avoid humiliation at the hands of human beings they have wronged in the past. Members of the family are so often overlooked in drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
Your pet can help you achieve sobriety, but they need extra love and care while recovering.
Emotional Support Animal vs. Service Animal
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service animal is a dog trained individually to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities, including mental disabilities. Under the ADA, the tasks the dog does have to be directly related to the disability of the person.
The dog might be trained to take a specific action when needed. For example, someone with diabetes may have a dog who lets him know when is his blood sugar is high or low. Another example of a service animal is one trained to detect the onset of a seizure in someone with epilepsy. Service dogs can then help the person stay safe during the seizure.
However, an emotional support animal, also known as a therapy animal, or a comfort or companion animal, is not a service animal under the ADA. These animals aren’t trained to perform a particular task or service. Some state and local governments allow emotional support animals to go into public places. The laws of reasonable accommodation depending on where you’re going and where you live.
The ADA also makes a distinction between an emotional support animal and a psychiatric service animal. There are dogs trained to sense an anxiety attack is impending. Then, the trained dog would take a particular action to help the person somehow. If an animal only provides comfort without taking action, then that isn’t a service animal under the ADA.
An animal doesn’t have to be professionally trained to qualify as a service animal. Someone can train the dog themselves under the definition of service animals.
At Opus Health we offer an inpatient treatment facility experience that is elevated by letting you bring your best friend to guide you through your treatment options. Our pet-friendly addiction treatment center provides a warm, comfortable and caring environment for your pet. We understand the importance of the human-animal bond. We strive to provide a setting where clients can heal physically and emotionally while having your pet by their side. Helping to ensure each patient in our care has the best chance possible to be in good mental health while overcoming drug abuse.