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Pet-Friendly Drug Rehab

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

April 22, 2020

You may turn to your pets for emotional support in times of personal crisis. If you’re struggling with addiction, an animal companion can be beneficial for healing. Some rehab centers may allow you to bring pets to treatment as a way to reduce stress and promote a healthy recovery.

Although beneficial for your health, entering a drug rehab center can be emotionally challenging. There are also many barriers when it comes to overcoming addiction and freeing yourself from this disease to start a fresh, sober life.

One barrier that may keep you from entering rehab is having to leave your emotional supports at home. As rehab centers continue to expand their programs and services to meet the needs of different people, you may have the option to bring your pet to treatment.

Benefits Of Pet Therapy

Maybe you’re a cat-lover and you’d rather spend your days getting love and affection from a purring feline. Or maybe you prefer the attention and affection given by man’s best friend. Either way, the connection and love we feel for our pets is an emotional benefit.

Animal therapy has taken off as its own sub-genre of psychological techniques that provide a basic, non-threatening system of advocacy and confidence.

If you’re connected to your pet and you bring it with you to rehab, you’ll likely experience moments when your pet’s silent love will give you a much-needed boost to continue with treatment. Addiction treatment is comprehensive and requires a full commitment.

If you have an attachment to your pet that you feel could help you through this difficult time, a pet-friendly rehab program could benefit you in many ways.

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A Familiar Face For Reassurance

Instead of going into a long-term program and feeling completely disconnected from the good parts of your former life, having your pet accompany you can help you feel more comfortable in rehab and reassure you for doing the right thing.

The loved ones in your life who were hurt by your addiction also need their own time of healing. While you give your loved ones space as you attend rehab and focus on recovery, your pet can be a reassuring reminder of home that reinforces your commitment to the program.

Added Emotional Support

You give your pet family, home, and the love it needs. If you bring them to rehab, it’s your turn to receive love and emotional support.

Your rehab program will be challenging and have its ups and downs. You may feel the need to take some time for yourself, but having your pet with you can make it feel as though you have family there to watch over you during difficult times.

Research suggests that many animals sense stress and negative emotion. Taking your pet to rehab can foster added emotional support that can work in-tandem with the support and guidance you receive from peers and professionals caring for you during treatment.

The Strength, Courage, And Optimism To Change

More than anything, having your pet with you during drug rehab can give you the push that you need to continue to get better. Many dogs are energetic and convey a spirit that can motivate your journey to recovery.

The exercise they force upon you and the laughs they so often provide may brighten your days in rehab and reinforce the idea that recovery is possible.

Pet-Assisted Drug Rehab

Some rehab centers allow your pets to stay with you in your room throughout your entire stay. It’s important to note that not all drug rehab centers allow pets to stay long-term, nor do all allow pets to participate in every aspect of a treatment program.

However, here are some ways your pet could assist you in rehab:

  • lower your stress levels
  • reduce feelings of loneliness
  • increase feelings of social support
  • boost your mood
  • improve your chances of finishing treatment
  • other positive health effects

Finding A Pet-Friendly Drug Rehab Center

Getting into a rehab facility that is pet-friendly can be difficult. If this type of treatment is something you’re interested in, you may want to contact treatment centers directly to find out if this is an option.

To learn more about addiction treatment or how an animal can improve your recovery experience, please contact us today.

News in Health - The Power of Pets

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