How Pets Can Help with Sober Living
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According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction often creates or is caused by another disorder. One of the ways that doctors and psychologists help with co-occurring disorders such as PTSD and mental illness is through the use of therapy animals. In fact, emotional support animals are being used more frequently in drug addiction treatment and sober living houses. Pets provide many services to those in sober living situations.
Pets are Soothing
Pets are soothing to people. Doctors have shown that petting a dog can do everything from lower your blood pressure to improve your mood. Just their presence causes the body to produce more endorphins and other positive neurotransmitters.
Animals can Help Reduce Cravings
When an addict has another living thing to focus on, their cravings are reduced. In many ways, a pet can provide a distraction from cravings as well as helping the addict get through particularly difficult moments when they are struggling with cravings and other triggering issues. They can help with daily tasks and in tough situations where you might start using again.
Pets Invoke Welcomed Responsibility
Sometimes being responsible for another living thing helps you stop using drugs. Since you have to be there for the pet, you have to stay sober enough to feed, care for, and walk it. Most people do not think of this as anything big but to someone struggling with addiction or mental illness having this responsibility can be a huge help. Just the act of caring for something else can help prevent a relapse.
Animals Improve Communication Skills
It is a strange fact that people communicate better with an animal around. They are more likely to talk to others and others are more likely to strike up a conversation with them. They help you build your self-esteem and communication skills.
People with pets, particularly dogs get out more. Since they have to walk to dog they get the exercise that they need as well as the comfort and distraction from triggers in their outside environment.
Pets can be Emotionally Supportive
A pet loves unconditionally. This gives many the emotional support that they would otherwise be lacking. A pet in a sober living situation can provide emotional support or a place to turn when things start to get difficult. Most people who have a pet always have something to talk to.
Pet Therapy is Beneficial in Rehab
Pet therapy is becoming more popular in all rehab situations. Many sober houses have pets or allow pets. Their relaxing qualities help a recovering addict to focus on something other than their addiction. In the case of therapy animals, they are trained to know when someone is in distress and need help. They provide comfort and solace just by being available.
How to Find a Treatment Program Involving Pets
In order to find a treatment program that involves pets or a sober living residence that either has a house pet or allows you to bring your own, you need help. Not every sober living facility has this service. In order to find a pet friendly sober living house or treatment center call us at 800-373-1667 (Who Answers?) .