In addition to being our most faithful companions and providing us with great doses of joy and happiness, pets or pets can help us overcome a wide variety of physical or psychological disorders.
The therapeutic benefits of these beloved animals have been known for centuries and both psychology and medicine have used them to treat multiple pathologies.
Interaction or coexistence with a companion animal, especially with dogs and other animals that are easy to tame due to their natural tendency for prosocial behavior and to provide unconditional affection and love, has been shown to have a very remarkable curative and therapeutic effect on people who may present cases of addictions, whether chemical or behavioral.
Then, we will briefly present the main benefits that pets bring to the treatment of addictions in human beings
How can pet therapy help overcome an addiction?
The main therapeutic effects of interaction with a companion animal are as follows.
1. Increased self-esteem
Dealing with a pet, especially a dog, gives anyone addicted a reason to move forward with the detox and rehab process. seeing that he is not totally disconnected from the rest of the world in front of the animal’s demonstrations of affection, and it is a motivating element to improve every day. In other words, pets help people believe in their ability to improve themselves and to be loved.
This improvement in self-esteem is of great importance in addicted people, because at any time when the level of self-esteem drops, a relapse into consumption can occur in the middle of a process of treatment of the addiction. addiction.
2. Reduction of associated psychological alterations
In addition to increasing self-esteem, a pet is an excellent ally in helping us reduce our levels of anxiety, depression, stress, nervousness or any other symptom associated with a psychological disorder.
The constant affection and joy that a pet can give us, especially dogs, as has been stated, is just as much emotional support as what a close friend or family member could give us. to bring.
3. Improved autonomy
One of the main objectives of psychological therapy for people suffering from addictions is to ensure that the person regains full autonomy in their daily life and is able to function personally and socially in complete normality.
This means that the person is capable of acquiring responsibilities and carrying them outto carry out simple or complex activities efficiently and even to know how to take care of another living being, as is the case with a pet.
The gradual learning of the care that a pet needs is the result of training to deal with the challenges the person will encounter in the real world once they are cared for.
4. Key in acquiring responsibilities
As indicated, it is essential that the person gets used to acquiring responsibilities that will allow him to succeed in his reintegration into life in society, once the detoxification treatment is over.
The acquisition of new responsibilities as well contributes positively to increase self-esteem and motivation of the personas well as to improve your general well-being and mood.
5. Improved communication and social skills
Being in contact with a pet and living with it on a daily basis also has a therapeutic effect on improving the person’s communication and social skills.
With a pet we can learn a lot about relationships and even if it is not a relationship between human beings, people with addictions they can then practice many of the things learned with their pet.
The main values one can learn from living with a pet are those of unconditional affection, care, and forming meaningful emotional bonds.
6. Key in acquiring organizational skills
This newly acquired organization, linked to the care of our animal, is key for the person to acquire organizational skills that they can put into practice in the future and that They will be of great use to him in his reintegration into society..
Everyday things such as daily walks, lunch and dinner times, pet cleaning duties and visits to the vet are of great importance and constitute very important psychological training and learning. .
7. Establish a positive connection
The emotional and affective bond that is established with the pet is one of the main therapeutic assets that exist in the treatment of pets.
Animal lovers know that the bond that is established with them can be just as strong as with a human being, which allows the dependent person to train all kinds of skills and relationship strategies with their animal, whether she will later apply in daily life with other people.
8. Improved personal well-being
Mental health professionals have been able to verify how coexistence with an animal affects greater release of happiness-related neurotransmitters in the brainamong which dopamine, oxytocin or serotonin stand out.
This change in brain function contributes to an improvement in a person’s general well-being, better mood, and higher levels of self-esteem, motivation, and happiness.
Do you want to start a detox process?
In CITA clinics we specialize in offering treatment to people who have developed addictive disorders with or without substance use.
In our fully equipped residential module, you will find both medical staff and psychotherapy professionals, as well as intervention programs such as equine therapy.