We believe that pets are powerful allies in the fight against addiction. While familial bonds are often strained during addiction and recovery, the bond with your pet remains mostly unchanged, thus making for a powerful aid to treatment and recovery from addictive substances.
Many people are surprised to hear that we encourage pets on our campus. We at Burning Tree West are not just pet lovers ourselves, we also believe in the therapeutic nature provided by the unconditional love of our furry friends. So today, we’ll take a second to talk about why we value the assistance of animals in our treatment.
They Provide All-Natural Stress and Anxiety Relief
The therapeutic power of pets is well understood not just in addiction recovery, but mental health in general. Studies show that those with pets show lower baseline levels of stress and anxiety than those without. The ability to minimize stress and anxiety levels in one’s life, not just at our facility, but at home are both key factors in successful recovery.
Many addicts turn to substances in order to make feelings of stress and anxiety fade away. Pets just provide a safer and more natural way of doing the same thing.
The Benefits are Proven in Study After Study
There are dozens of studies that have all come to the same outcome, pets improve your mood, reduce stress and anxiety levels, and help you to feel wanted and needed which may reduce instances of depression while raising overall mental health levels.
Therapy Dogs International did their own study (several of them in fact), and the findings were on par with many other conclusions that have been reached. When it comes to mental health, we’re well aware of the effect our pets – or other people’s pets – have on overall mental well-being.
They Help to Drive Home the Principles of Accountability and Responsibility, Two of Our Core Teachings
The average resident learns many lessons during their time at Burning Tree West. Two of the most important traits they’ll learn are those that will carry with them for a lifetime, accountability and responsibility. Each resident is accountable to themselves, their peers, the staff, their family, and even their pets. A high level of accountability keeps things in perspective and helps residents realize that they aren’t just getting (and staying) sober for themselves, but for others that love them and rely on them.
As for responsibility, time here is spent learning that life is full of it. Maintaining proper hygiene practices, attending school, volunteering, attending 12-step meetings, making regular contact with your sponsor and assisting with the communal living aspects are just some of the responsibilities residents have while at Burning Tree West. We love pets because it’s an additional tool for learning to live responsibly upon leaving our center.
In summation, we believe pets to be a powerful aid to addiction recovery and overall mental health. We encourage each resident to bring their pets, and to ensure for their care and well-being even after leaving the facility.
If your child struggles with substance abuse, please contact us today to find out how we can help.