There are many different types of drug rehab programs, each with its own way of helping people overcome an addiction. In recent years, individuals have benefited from programs that use animals to help patients recover.
Animals help people in many ways. They can produce a calming effect on humans, causing the person’s blood pressure to stabilize and their mental state to become more regular. People often feel less lonely when they have an animal by their side, and animals help reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.
Types of Animals Used in Therapy
Some of the most common animals used in therapy are horses. These gentle giants help patients feel a calmness and develop an inner strength. Horses have been used for years for individuals with mental health disorders and those that have problems with muscle control. Now the same programs are being offered to individuals with drug or alcohol addictions.
Dogs and cats are also commonly used in rehab. Some programs allow patients to bring their own pets into treatment because of the benefits these companion animals can provide their owners. Other treatment centers partner with service animal organizations to bring cats and dogs in to interact with patients.
There are also programs that enlist the help of birds, bunnies, reptiles, and other animals. Because humans tend to respond so well to interactions with animals, these types of therapies are generally very effective.
A patient does not have to be enrolled in an animal assisted therapy program in order to benefit from animals during recovery. Those who own their own pets or who have a close bond with a certain animal can benefit from time spent with the animal. Pets help keep a patient busy during and after substance abuse detox and addiction treatment, they help take the person’s mind off of their struggles, and they allow the patient to become more responsible. Of course, one of the best qualities of animals is that they love unconditionally. Someone who has made mistakes in their past and is hoping to start a new life takes great comfort in the fact that animals do not judge.