Benefits of Adopting a Pet for Addiction Recovery
How Pets can Help during Addiction Recovery Journey
Throughout your journey out of drug and alcohol addiction into long-term sobriety you will discover many coping mechanisms that keep you from falling into depressing, loneliness and relapse. Many people find art, yoga, exercise, reading and other such sober hobbies very therapeutic and successful. But if you’re looking for ways to fulfill more of your time at home and more space in your heart, pets are extremely beneficial in the addiction recovery process. Whether it is a dog, cat, Guinea pig or fish, pets offer the full-time responsibility, support and companionship that almost everyone in addiction recovery craves. Silver Linings Recovery Center highlights all the ways in which pets can help during your addiction recovery journey.
7 Ways Dogs & Cats Aid the Drug & Alcohol Recovery Process
Added Responsibility: Your new pet will depend on you to for food, water, exercise, playtime and every other basic need. These responsibilities will help you make good choices for your pet and yourself. But adopting a pet isn’t just about food & shelter, it is also about the financial and emotional commitment. Make sure you consider all responsibilities before bringing a pet into your home.
Reduce Stress: Those in addiction recovery know that stress is one of the largest factors to relapsing and preventing stress is of the utmost importance. Whether through playtime, a walk down the street or snuggling on the couch, research has proven these acts lower oxytocin levels in the brain which reduces stress and promotes relaxation.
Rebuilding Partner: Part of the recovery process is to leave old, toxic relationships behind and form new ones. Your new pet becomes a part of your sober circle! Bonus: they can also help you meet other pet owners at the dog park or pet store!
Establish Daily Routine: Pets, much like those in addiction recovery, thrive when on a routine. Sticking to set daily feedings, walks and bedtimes help you establish a daily pattern and stick to your responsibilities.
Enhance Self-Worth: When you’re deep in an addiction and even early in your recovery, you may experience shame and guilt. But successfully taking care of the well-being of your pet improves your sense of self and your value as a person.
Boost Confidence: Now that you know you’re capable of handling the added responsibilities and pressure of a pet, you can feel confident tackling your new sober life and moving toward long-term sobriety.
Unconditional Love: Best of all, pets provide us with the type of unconditional love that is so important for those of us fighting through addiction recovery. They do not hold our past against us, do not judge us and are simply there to help boost your self-esteem and show love & affection.