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Animal Assisted Therapy for Addiction


What is Animal-Assisted Therapy for Addiction?

One of the most unique holistic remedies being developed today is animal-assisted therapy for addiction.

Some of the most common animals for this type of treatment include dogs, cats, birds, and rabbits.

Horses and dolphins may also be used in sessions of animal-assisted therapy for addiction.

The animal used for this type of therapy can vary depending on the location, setting, and goals.

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Primary Benefits of Animal-Assisted Therapy for Addiction

Animal-assisted therapy for addiction has proven to improve emotional well-being.

Generally, interacting with an animal can help reduce feelings of aggression, anxiety, and depression.

As such, animal-assisted therapy can help make participants feel calmer and happier.

This type of therapy focuses on your emotional health and may involve family members who are experiencing this emotional journey with you.

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Additional Benefits of Animal-Assisted Addiction Therapy

Using animal-assisted therapy for addiction treatments is a relatively new holistic remedy. However, it has been proven as an effective treatment. In some situations, animals have even been linked to reduced physical pain and symptoms related to pain.

Some hospitals use animal-assisted therapy to cheer up their patients. These hospitals often bring in dogs to comfort patients who are dealing with high levels of stress, anxiety, or depression, particularly during long-term stays. In these settings, medical professionals noted a significant effect on the psychological well-being of the patients who participated.

There have been similarly promising results for animal-assisted therapy for addiction. In these settings, animal-assisted therapy for addiction can help:

  • Boost the mood of participants
  • Reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, anger, and depression
  • Reduce feelings of physical pain or emotional discomfort
  • Increase their sense of calm and contentment
  • Encourage them to participate in other activities

Improve the duration of important treatment

Common Reasons for Animal-Assisted Therapy

There are many benefits to using animal-assisted therapy for addiction care patients. Animal-assisted therapy sessions have been used to help those with mental health disorders, troubled prison inmates, and others with challenging medical conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and cerebral palsy. This impressive therapeutic remedy has many benefits and applications.

Common Holistic and Recreational Therapeutic Remedies

Animal-assisted therapy is one remedy of many that may be used in your addiction treatment program. Other recreational therapies like beach trips, art and music therapy, and crafts can all help achieve the goal of emotional well-being. Art and music therapy have the additional benefits of helping you better express your feelings, improve your thinking, and develop meaningful social connections. Physical therapeutic activities like yoga and meditation can help you strengthen your body and mind.

Life skills training and relapse prevention training can help you move forward confidently when you finish with your addiction program(s). Addiction research and trends have shown us that stress cues and contact with drugs are some of the most common triggers for relapse. These stress cues include things like certain people, locations, events, or moods. Relapse prevention training can help you learn how to disrupt these triggers and stay sober. We can help you learn how to build sober social networks, avoid triggers, change damaging thought patterns, and choose healthy habits and coping mechanisms.

Common Traditional Therapeutic Remedies

While the holistic remedies listed above are all valuable, certain therapeutic remedies are even more important. In any of our addiction programs, you will attend a variety of therapy sessions. These therapies will help you identify your triggers and reorganize damaging thought patterns and behaviors.

They will also help you choose healthier habits and coping mechanisms and achieve other important recovery goals. These therapy sessions may be completed in individual, group, or family settings. Additionally, support groups will help you make valuable connections, build your communication skills, and learn from others. Each component is important on its own. Together, they create a well-rounded and effective addiction program.

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Mental Illness and Animal-Assisted Therapy

Animal-assisted therapy for addiction is a useful tool. This type of therapy has been helpful in both addiction settings and for those with mental health disorders. These conditions alter your brain chemistry in similar ways. As such, mental illness and addiction occur together often. This combination is called a dual diagnosis. You may find yourself abusing drugs or alcohol to cope with symptoms of an underlying mental health disorder.

Alternatively, your drug or alcohol abuse may lead to a mental health disorder due to the way that it impairs your brain chemistry. One example of this is alcoholism and depression. When addiction and mental health disorders co-exist, it is crucial to treat them together. Treating one and not the other leaves it open for the remaining condition to worsen the other down the road. Our high-level dual diagnosis program can help address each of these conditions simultaneously.

Addiction Treatment Setting Options

Animal-assisted therapy for addiction is not in itself an addiction program. It is part of a larger program. Each of our addiction care programs is personalized based on your unique addiction and needs. Our convenient locations throughout California make it easy to find the care you need and deserve. Many of our safe and comfortable facilities are within minutes of a beach, making it easier to enjoy outdoor recreational activities.

Along with our proven range of therapies, support groups, and holistic remedies, these activities help you find peace and balance in your recovery journey. To meet the widest variety of needs possible, we offer several different addiction care program options. These include:

  • Inpatient care programs
  • Outpatient care programs
  • Intensive outpatient care programs
  • Partial hospitalization programs
  • Dual diagnosis programs
  • Aftercare planning

Inpatient Addiction Treatments vs. Outpatient Addiction Treatments

If you have a moderate to severe addiction, underlying mental health concerns, temptations at home, or other complications, an inpatient care program may be the best choice for you. This high-level care program offers 24-hour access to care, support, and guidance. Each day you will have a carefully crafted schedule that includes healthy meals, recreational activities, comfortable amenities, holistic remedies, and beneficial therapies. Support groups, relapse prevention, and life skills training are also involved.

It is not always easy to commit to a full-time program. If you have a mild addiction, do not need medical detox, or have obligations that require you to remain at home, intensive outpatient care may be better. Part-time programs feature many of the same types of therapies, support groups, and holistic remedies. You simply spend less time in our facility. We will work with you to choose the program that will best suit your addiction and needs.

Paying for Addiction Treatments

Most health insurance providers offer some amount of coverage for addiction treatments. And we work with most major health insurance providers to get you the care you need and deserve. If you have health insurance, please call to speak with someone from our admissions team. We will perform a fast and free insurance verification to get you started. If you do not have health insurance or your coverage falls short, please ask about alternative payment options.

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Choosing Resurgence Behavioral Health

Animal-assisted therapy for addiction is a proven and useful remedy.

But it is also just one of many.

For a well-rounded and customized recovery experience, visit us at Resurgence Behavioral Health.

We have helped thousands of individuals build healthy, sober lives, and we are ready to help you, too.

Call us today to get started.

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At Resurgence, we accept most PPO insurance. Verify your insurance now.