How Pets Aid Recovery from Addiction
Addiction has long lasting effects on an individual’s body. While regular use of addictive substances negatively impacts the physical, mental and emotional health of a person, an effective treatment strategy can go a long way in helping him or her kick the habit and lead a better life.
The most commonly used treatment plan for addiction involves the use of medications, behavioral therapies or a combination of both. However, the process of recovery might be lengthy and full of challenges, requiring the patient to be persistent, strong and dedicated toward attaining the goal of sobriety. During the process, the patient might also feel alone or left out since many people perceive drug abusers as criminals or losers, and often discriminate against them.
However, interestingly, people struggling to kick drug addiction might find solace and experience some kind of stability while undergoing recovery. In such a scenario, pets can greatly help. In fact, pets can be great partners since they are non-judgmental and accepting even when a person is at his or her worst. Thus, getting an emotional support from them could be a strong motivational factor for a person in recovery.
Here are some reasons why pets are great partners and ensure a speedy recovery from addiction:
1. Loves unconditionally
Strong emotional and unstinting support can go a long way in ensuring speedy recovery. Good personal relationships are the key to a successful recovery process for a person fighting substance abuse. However, it is not necessary that such strong bonds be limited to human beings. In fact, pets such as dogs and cats can be great companions too, since their love is unconditional and does not depend on how good or bad a person is.
Pets always love their owners and return the affection they receive, manifold. It does not affect them if their owners have bad habits or are prone to screaming etc. Instead, they continue to provide the required support and help a person stay happy and calm.
2. Encourages responsibility
Often people who are hooked on to drugs or alcohol live with a sense of failure about their past or feel worthless or have old emotional wounds. They may feel that their life is not under their control. Owning a pet requires a person to be more responsible as animals are to be fed, groomed and taken for a walk on a regular basis. Taking responsibility for another’s life can make the patient overcome such feelings and heal. It could also give him or her the disciple needed to beat addiction.
3. Reduce stress
Pets are a great way to improve one’s mood and reduce stress. Taking the pet for a walk or jogging can induce feelings of relaxation and take one’s mind off worries. It can help a person become positive and lively. Having a pet enables release of serotonin and dopamine, the feel-good chemicals in the human brain, which, in turn, uplifts one’s mood and reduces anxiety. Staying busy with a pet is an excellent way to forget unnecessary thoughts, cravings and curb withdrawal symptoms.
4. Improves one’s social life
Having a pet is a simple and healthy way to meet and interact with new people. Apart from keeping oneself busy and maintaining a distance from old triggers, a person who owns a pet also gets an opportunity to make new friends at clubs, online forums and parks.
5. Makes a person accountable
It is true that living with a pet makes a person more responsible and accountable. When a person knows that he or she is responsible for a pet’s life, an individual acts more responsibly and is also highly motivated to stay away from substance abuse. More than that, most pets such as dogs are sensitive to changes in the moods and behavior of its owner. So when one has a mood swing or behaves unreasonably, the pet will sense the change and may even respond, but never abandon. It would still love the person no matter what. Often, this itself forces an individual to change.
Choose a better life, say no to drugs
Detox is the first step in kicking drug addiction. Detox facilities specializing in drug abuse are available in Arizona. If you or someone you know is addicted to a substance and is looking for drug detox treatment centers in Arizona, the Arizona Detox Helpline can assist. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866–593–8453 and our representatives would be happy to connect you with the best facility offering drug detox treatment in Arizona.