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What Are The Benefits of Pet Therapy in Addiction Treatment?

Addiction is a chronic and complex brain disease. It requires a multi-layered approach to treat it appropriately. Part of this includes therapy. There are many different types of therapy that can be used in treatment. Each person’s treatment plan should be individualized, so a therapy that is beneficial to one person may not effectively treat another. Therefore, personalizing treatment plans will ensure the best possible outcome for each individual. One of the therapies that are offered is pet therapy in addiction treatment.  What Are The Benefits of Pet Therapy in Addiction Treatment?

What is Pet Therapy?

Pet therapy is a broad term that describes a guided interaction between a person and a trained animal. It includes animal-assisted activities and animal-assisted therapy. Pet therapy or animal-assisted therapy is a growing type of therapy that uses dogs or other animals to help people recover from addiction, mental health disorders, or better cope with health problems.  Using animals in medical facilities to help the sick and recovering has been around for more than 150 years. Florence Nightingale recognized how significant pets were in regards to helping people back in 1860. 

Pet Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Animals can have a positive impact on people who are in recovery from substance abuse. Pets, especially dogs, help people; dogs are natural companions for humans. Studies have shown that simply being in the presence of an animal can improve a person’s general mental, social, and psychological health. Animals make us happy and help to ease human stress. Using animals in treatment for addiction can also help improve social skills, increase motivation, prevent relapse, and refocus your energy and take your mind off of bad or negative situations. Animals are a positive distraction. Working with an animal also helps to build trust back up. 

Benefits of Pet Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Pet therapy can be beneficial for many issues including mental health disorders and substance abuse disorders. In addition, interacting with animals makes you calm and happy and reduces anxiety, depression, and aggression symptoms. The National Institute of Health News In Health “The Power of Pets Health Benefits of Human-Animal Interactions” says:

Nothing compares to the joy of coming home to a loyal companion. The unconditional love of a pet can do more than keep you company. Pets may also decrease stress, improve heart health, and even help children’s emotional and social skills. An estimated 68% of U.S. households have a pet. Research on human-animal interactions is still relatively new. Some studies have shown positive health effects, but the results have been mixed. Interacting with animals has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and lower blood pressure. Other studies have found that animals can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and boost your mood. (NIH)

Pet therapy in recovery has so many benefits. Some of the health benefits of pet therapy in addiction treatment can include:

  • Boosts mood
  • Reduces negative emotions
  • Instills responsibility 
  • Helps cope with stress
  • Reduces stress
  • Encourages healthy habits
  • A distraction from cravings
  • Calming relief for people with mental health issues
  • Improves immune system 
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Helps with exercise 

There are many treatment programs that are now using pet therapy in addiction treatment. Some facilities are even allowing people to bring their own pet to their treatment sessions. If pet therapy is interested in your addiction treatment, a little research before selecting a facility will help you find a place that offers animal-assisted therapy.

Start Treatment for Addiction and Dependence at Evoke Wellness at Miramar

Evoke Wellness at Miramar offers cutting-edge addiction treatment in beautiful South Florida. Our premier medical detox focuses on providing each one of our clients with the safest and most comfortable detox process. We offer a safe treatment environment and treat our clients with compassion, understanding, and respect. At Evoke Wellness at Miramar, our programs promote healing and stability in every aspect: physically, mentally, and emotionally. A new life starts now. Call and let us help you build the foundation for long-term recovery.