a young man holds his dog at a pet therapy program in msWhen you struggle with substance use, the substance can quickly consume all aspects of your life. Your friendships, romantic relationships, and familial relationships may all suffer as a result of your substance use. The only connection you may have left is with your pet. Your pet provides you with affection and support, no matter what your life may look like to society and to your family and friends. This bond is powerful, and therefore, at Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center, we are proud to offer a pet therapy program as one of our treatment methodologies. 

WHAT IS A PET THERAPY PROGRAM?

When you enroll in a pet therapy program at Stonewater, you can bring your furry friend with you to recovery. Your pet can give you comfort that cannot be matched by a therapist or counselor. Your pet will love you unconditionally and without judgment. They may also alleviate your fears and discomfort so that you can focus on your recovery process. 

Leaving your pet at home when you come to Stonewater can add unnecessary stress. You may worry that your parents or siblings won’t walk them or feed them. At the beginning of the process, you will probably also feel lonely. Having your pet with you will make you feel more comfortable, more at home, and less alone. 

When you bring them with you for a pet therapy program at Stonewater, they can give you support, and you can have peace of mind. Many adolescent treatment centers don’t allow pets. However, Stonewater knows that you receive a variety of benefits when you bring your companion, leading to a successful recovery process. 

BENEFITS OF A PET THERAPY PROGRAM AT A SUBSTANCE USE TREATMENT CENTER

There are many advantages to a pet therapy program. In addition to having a friend who is there to support and love you unconditionally, there are proven health benefits. Bringing a pet with you to a recovery program can lower your anxiety levels and improve your immune system. In addition, bringing a dog, for example, can help you in getting more exercise, which is a critical part of your recovery process. 

Moreover, if you struggle to connect with people, caring for a pet can increase your empathy and compassion. This character-building aspect of a pet therapy program facilitates stronger relationships with other people. Pets can also encourage you to focus on your health, as your pet cannot survive without you. Therefore, you have to stay healthy so that they remain healthy. 

Additionally, your pet can be crucial to relapse prevention. In order to prevent relapse, you have to come up with ways to distract yourself from your cravings. During pet therapy, playing with or caring for an animal can serve as a distraction from your cravings. Also, if you struggle with panic attacks, anxiety, or depression, your animal can be trained to sense these problems. They can then recognize the mental health symptoms and help to calm you before you go back to the substance. 

An additional benefit of a pet therapy program is that the pet will help you in breaking the ice with your peers. After all, who doesn’t want to come up and ask you if they can pet your buddy? This conversation starter can help you begin to open up to new people and get to know them. 

CHOOSE TREATMENT AT STONEWATER

Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center is a rehabilitation center for boys ages 12-18. We treat a variety of substance use disorders, as well as many mental health issues. If you struggle with both substance use and mental health disorders, we offer dual diagnosis treatment. 

In addition to our pet therapy program, we also offer a variety of other therapeutic programs, including:

If your son is struggling with a substance use problem, isn’t it time he gets the treatment he needs? To learn more about our pet therapy program, call Stonewater today at 662.373.2828.