Animal Therapy as Part of Addiction Treatment

Treatments for addiction come in many different varieties. There are addiction treatment options for Christians, Buddhists, holistic people, famous people, nature people, city people and many other basic varieties of personalities and professions. Different types of treatment facilities feature different methods of treating addiction, featuring some direct work on mental health through established psychology, some adjustments to the person’s chemical make-up through medication and diet, and a number of different therapeutic activities. One therapeutic activity that is becoming widely used in addiction treatment is animal therapy; the practice of bringing people who are enrolled in the addiction treatment program to a place where they can spend time with animals, most commonly horses or dogs due to their relationship capabilities.

Animal therapy has been found to be very effective for those struggling with addiction for a number of reason. Many people naturally like animals anyway, and spending time with them can be a harmless pleasurable activity. Mental health specialists have found that animals have a calming effect on people, and can help them open their minds and hearts to positivity. It is not uncommon for someone afflicted with addiction to have trust issues in their relationships. But in a relationship with an animal, trust comes naturally because animals are not deceitful creatures. On occasion, they have been known to break rules and try to cover it up, but on the whole, they are capable of very little deception. Making a relationship with an animal means lending trust, as well as giving affection and respect; all valuable lessons for someone struggling with addiction to learn.

Even outside of addiction treatment, animals have been known to have positive effects on recovering addicts. As a person readjusts to the world and practices their recovery, having the love of an animal can go a long way. Caring for an animal pushes the recovering addict to be on a schedule to give the animal what it needs, budget money correctly to buy the animal what it needs and be available to the animal, teaching the individual a number of relationship values.

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