Alcohol and substance abuse treatment and recovery have evolved over the years. The incorporation of animal pets in this process has proved to be effective. It seeks to provide answers to the question, are pets allowed at alcohol rehab. Most rehab institutions now allow patients to have the company of pets for various reasons. To many victims, these pets are part of their family. To some, the only family they have. These animals provide comfort. They also put a smile on your face in those weird distressing moments.
Here are some of the many benefits of pets to patients addicted to alcohol in rehab centers.
Self-care and Self-awareness
Pets’ presence during this difficult stage of recovery from alcohol addiction is essential. Due to the bond created between the two, the owner is aware that they have to take care of the pet. It raises the patients’ awareness, thus creating a sense of self-care both for the pet and as an individual
Pets Improve Interpersonal Skills
As a patient gets engaged with the pet’s basic needs, the urge of thinking only for self dissipates. This builds a strong character of empathy not only to pets but also to fellow humans. In retrospect, this cultivates the basis of relationships across any setting.
Increased Sense of Responsibility
Patients’ sense of responsibility improves when they take care of their pets. They find themselves accountable first to themselves and the pet. This effect also has an impact on the patient’s self-esteem. It gives them a higher sense of self that helps boost the lost sense of identity. Patients can forge a culture of a healthy routine that was missing. This is possible when they have it in the back of their minds that there is a being depending on them.
Pets as a Source of Inspiration
Fighting off addiction can be a gruesome task to achieve for many addicts. The presence of a pet during this time can be helpful as they remind a patient of the outside world. Pets remind patients of the good times shared with close friends and family. This brings balance to their life and a laser-like focus on overcoming addiction.
Guaranteed Highway To Emotional Stability
Pets are impartial creatures regardless of ones’ circumstances. They are loyal creatures. Some can also relate and know when the owner is in a sad state. Animals love without judgment and with no expectation of compensation. This is a rare trait in humans. It can be a priceless gift to a patient as most of them have lost friends and family members. This unconditional loyalty helps in rebuilding the courage to forge good relationships. All this sums up to good emotional stability of the patients.
Improve Mental and Physical Health
Alcohol and any other forms of addiction alter the chemical balance in the brain. These alterations affect mood and cognition for a period. To curb this, good interaction with receptive animals can help with the change. Recent studies show that quality time spent with pets boosts levels of oxytocin. These are mood-enhancing neurotransmitters. Interaction with pets and animals, in general, reduces common mental disorders like depression.
Alcohol abuse for most addicts comes as a source of entertainment. Having pets go with their owners to the rehab centers can be handy as they can be good entertainers. For example, a dog chasing its tail, trying to catch a bird on the window, or a cat trying to ground an insect. These acts can be entertaining to recovering addicts. It helps take the mind off the urge to have alcohol overtime during recovery.
Apart from dogs and cats, other animals help in addicts’ recovery and healing. The most incorporated animals are dolphins and horses. Equine-assisted therapy focuses on the emotional health of the addict. It helps them master and manage their emotional and behavioral responses by learning and understanding the horse. Dolphins are friendly and easy to interact with. They create a feeling of acceptance to the patient when they interact positively. This casts off the sense of isolation brought about by addiction.
Medical practitioners have proved pets have the desired effect on addicts’ recovery. More rehab centers are now embracing the art of animal therapy as a go-to alternative. So indeed, pets are a plus to addicts in need of a positive recovery to sobriety. If you are ready to overcome alcohol and substance abuse, call us today at 833-497-3812! Our counselors are available 24 hours a day and will be more than happy to assist you.