Pet-friendly inpatient drug rehab centers allow you to bring your pet to treatment with you. Addiction treatment can be life-changing, but it’s also hard work. Having your pet alongside you during this time can boost your spirits, relieve stress, and improve physical health. Pets also help to build a greater sense of responsibility, purpose, and accountability, all of which enhance the therapeutic process.
Why Would A Person Bring Their Pet To Treatment?
Many people refer to their pets as family. Others as tiny, furred people. However you refer to you pet, one thing is certain: they’re a huge part of your life.
Some individuals are so close to their pet that the thought of being away from them for any length of time is greatly disheartening. Other’s may simply worry who will take care of their pet while they’re away.
Finding and affording pet care while you’re in treatment may seem impossible, especially if you need treatment for a significant length of time. These reasons may lead certain people to forestall or even forgo getting treatment.
You may be surprised to learn that certain rehabs allow your pet to accompany you to treatment. This can help to create a more supportive and familiar environment, which can enhance both your treatment stay and the benefits you receive while there.
What Are The Benefits Of Having Your Pet At Treatment?
When you have a pet your day quite often begins, and ends, with your pet. Whether it be a cold nose or a warm tongue saying good morning, the simple routines of feeding them, or snuggling into bed with them at night, the interaction and activities surrounding your pet frame and fill your day. During treatment, these simple pleasures can help to sustain you during treatment.
Balanced Mood: Substance abuse can lead to mood instability. Quality time and direct physical contact with your pets has been shown to boost the “feel good” hormones serotonin and oxytocin which help to regulate and lift your mood.
Better Physical Health: One scientific survey of 69 studies on the subject reported that interacting with an animal increases overall physical wellness and immune system functioning. Cardiovascular health improved, most notably by lowered blood pressure and a regulated heart rate. It also found a decrease in stress-related hormones.
Consistency And Responsibility: Drug addictions can create a state of constant upheaval and instability within your life. Having a pet with you during treatment helps you to establish structure, routine, and a sense of responsibility and purpose, all of which are foundational within treatment and recovery.
Emotional Support: Whether it be a cat or dog, your pet’s devotion is unwavering in a way which helps to meet your emotional needs during this time, no questions asked. Emotional support is one of the most important elements of treatment and recovery.
Enhanced Social Skills: The aforementioned scientific survey found that oxytocin “increases eye contact, empathy, face memory, trust, social skills, positive self-perception, and generosity.” These elements strengthen interpersonal and communication skills, both of which are hugely important within and after treatment.
Fights Negative Emotions: An addiction ushers in a host of negative emotions and mindsets. Overcoming and replacing these with positive and healthy thoughts and emotions is critical to a balanced recovery.
Interacting with a pet has been shown to boost:
- A desire for change
And to decrease:
- A sense of isolation
- A sense of rejection
As An Icebreaker: Meeting and connecting to other people who are building a recovery from drugs or alcohol is one of the biggest benefits of an inpatient program. But it can be intimidating. Having a pet with you can make it easier to meet people and to spark up a conversation.
Impact On Co-Occurring Disorders: A co-occurring disorder is a mental health disorder which occurs with addiction. Numerous studies have found that spending time with a pet can reduce both depression and anxiety, as well as reducing other symptoms of mental illness.
Improves Self-Care: Habits of good self-care can quickly slip away beneath the weight of an addicted lifestyle. As you care for your pet’s day-to-day needs, you’ll be reminded of how critical these essentials are to your well-being as well.
Pain Reduction: Anecdotal evidence and scientific studies both point to the potential of time spent with pets as a tool for pain management. For those who stumbled into addiction by self-medicating concerns of pain, this is good news.
Personal Growth: Animals are very sensitive to your emotional and mental condition and can, at times, mirror them back to you. Their reaction to these states can reflect your moods and the ways they change, for better and for worse. This furthers the therapeutic process by helping you to remove or cultivate these states.
Positive Ties To Family: If you’re bringing a family pet to treatment their presence can remind you of your family, good memories, and all that you’re fighting for. This can give you ambition to get sober so you can create more meaningful moments with the people (and animals) you love.
Stress Relief: Spending time with pets, whether it be grooming, petting, or playing with them, has been shown to relieve stress and promote a more calm, relaxed state.
Relapse Prevention: People use drugs to escape, fight boredom, or to distract themselves from weighty things on their mind. Without healthy ways to manage these desires a person may consider relapsing. While it’s never good to avoid issues you need to change, it is good to take a break to recharge. Hanging out with your pet can be a healthy way to channel these impulses so that you protect your sobriety.
How Do I Know Which Facilities Allow Pets?
The good news is that a growing number of inpatient treatment centers will allow you to bring your pet with you to treatment. Even though these offerings may still be somewhat slim compared to other program formats, don’t let this deter you from getting the help you need. Our treatment specialists have information on all the best inpatient drug rehab centers, including those which offer pet-friendly options.
How Does It Work?
First, if you’re traveling to treatment you have to get your pet there. This may include making flight arrangements if you are traveling out of state. Once there, the exact rules and specifications of each facility vary. For this reason, prior to enrolling you’ll have to double check to make sure the program fits your needs and that the stipulations are something you can reasonably accommodate.
In short, you’ll be responsible for the basic care and feeding of your animal, as well as any costs or equipment associated with these things (food, litter, leashes, etc.). Documentation of your animal’s health and recent vaccinations may be required prior to, or upon, arrival.
Even if the center you’re interested in doesn’t allow for pets to stay on-site full-time, some may permit you brief visits during your stay. We can help you figure out these and other details.
What About Pet Therapy?
Even if you’re unable to take your pet, or if you don’t have a furred friend, you can still integrate the healing and hope pets offer into your treatment. Many rehabs are beginning to integrate pet therapy, or animal-assisted therapy, into their programs as an evidenced-based practice.
Research has shown that these sessions improve the therapeutic alliance between client and therapist and increase treatment success rates. While your personal pet provides great therapeutic value to your treatment, these sessions typically use animals especially trained for this purpose.
Find A Pet-Friendly Treatment Center
If you’re interested in learning more about pet-friendly rehabs, contact DrugRehab.org today. Our compassionate staff will help you to build a treatment plan which offers you the greatest measure of emotional support.
For More Information Related to “Pet-Friendly Inpatient Drug Rehab Centers” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From DrugRehab.org:
- Year-Long Drug Rehab Programs
- The Benefits Of A Women’s Only Drug Rehab Center
- Does Short-Term Disability Cover Drug Rehab?
- Should I Go Back To Rehab After A Drug Or Alcohol Relapse
- What Is Client-Centered Therapy For Addiction Treatment