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What Is Animal-Assisted Addiction Therapy?

Experience clinician-run addiction treatment at Red Oak Recovery® in the pristine Blue Ridge Mountains

What Is Animal-Assisted Addiction Therapy?

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Addiction is a serious issue that can cause great turmoil in a person’s life. It can damage relationships, lead to financial problems, and cause physical and mental health issues. Fortunately, there are treatments available that can help overcome substance abuse disorder and lead a healthy and happy life. Animal-assisted therapy for addiction is a promising new treatment for those struggling with addiction. But what is animal-assisted addiction therapy, exactly?

Red Oak’s young men’s rehab can provide the support and guidance you need to overcome your problems and live a sober life. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, our animal-assisted therapy program may be a helpful treatment option. Contact us at 828.382.9699 today to learn more.

What Is Animal-Assisted Addiction Therapy?

Animal-assisted therapy is a holistic therapy method. This therapy uses animals to help people with physical, mental, or emotional issues, and it has been shown to be helpful for a variety of specific conditions, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and addiction.

This method can take many different forms, but the premise is the same: to help people struggling with addiction recover by using the therapeutic power of animals. This can be done in individual or group sessions, and it may involve activities like grooming, walking, or even just spending time with cats, dogs, birds, horses, rabbits, and chickens.

The involvement with animals can reduce pain, lower blood pressure, and release feel-good hormones like oxytocin and serotonin. For people in recovery, animal therapy can provide much-needed companionship, support, and love.

How Animal-Assisted Programs for Addiction Work

Recovery can be a long and difficult process, but animal-assisted therapy can help to make it a little bit easier. Here are some ways that it can help:

Reduces Stress and Anxiety

One of the main reasons that people turn to substances is to cope with stress and anxiety. Animal therapy can help to reduce these feelings, making it easier to abstain from drugs and alcohol.

Provides Companionship

In recovery, it’s important to have a support system. Family and friends can be a great source of support, but sometimes they’re not available, or they may not understand what you’re going through. Animals can provide the companionship you need, and they’ll never judge you or tell you what to do.

Teaches Responsibility

Caring for an animal can help to teach responsibility, which is an important skill in recovery. Caring for a pet can help you develop a sense of purpose and routine, both of which are essential in early recovery.

Increases Feelings of Happiness and Well-Being

Spending time with animals has been shown to increase feelings of happiness and well-being. This can be helpful in recovery when emotions are often up and down.

Improves Social Skills

Animal therapy can also help to improve social skills. This is important in recovery, as social support is a key factor in maintaining sobriety.

Red Oak’s beautiful campus in the foothills of North Carolina is a perfect setting for innovative drug treatment that includes canine therapy, recreational activities, and gender-specific programs for young men. Our treatment model addresses the emotional and mental conditions that often underlie addictive behavior. At the same time, we provide individuals with the time and space they need for reflection and personal growth.

Is Animal-Assisted Therapy for Addiction Treatment Right for You?

Animal-assisted therapy for addiction treatment may not be the right fit for everyone, but it can be a valuable addition to traditional therapies and treatments. If you are interested in exploring this option, it’s important to discuss it with your therapist or healthcare provider.

You might be a good candidate for animal therapy if:

  • You struggle with stress and anxiety
  • You have difficulty connecting with others or forming healthy relationships
  • You find comfort in the presence of animals
  • You are open to trying new forms of therapy

Remember, recovery is a journey, and it’s important to find what works best for you. If you think animal-assisted therapy may be helpful, Red Oak can help you take the first steps on the road to recovery with the aid of our furry friends.

Call Red Oak Recovery® to Enroll in Our Animal Assisted-Therapy Program

If you’re struggling with addiction, animal-assisted therapy may be the helpful treatment option you need. Contact us online today or at 828.382.9699 to enroll.