When going through recovery, animals can be very therapeutic. It is a different decision altogether to decide to adopt a pet to take home. Having a permanent pet in the home can be a challenging decision as far as what type of pet is the right one to bring home. The companionship of a pet offers a great way to reduce anxiety and stress.

Benefits of Adoption

There are myriad benefits to adopting a pet while in recovery from substance use or mental health disorders. It can improve one’s overall mood, get rid of loneliness, and develop a sense of confidence in helping another being.  The other benefits of adoption can include:

  • Improved social life. When a person struggles with drugs or alcohol, even mental health disorders, maybe making friends can become difficult. By adopting a pet, it may be less challenging. A pet takes time and effort to keep it happy and healthy. It means walking a dog, petting a cat, spending time with them, and serving their needs, not just your own. It also means being able to meet other fellow pet lovers who enjoy them as much as you do.
  • Reduced stress. Stress, anxiety, and depression are difficult to deal with on a daily basis. Even if professional treatment is sought, it can be hard to manage those emotions every single day. Petting a dog or cat is an easy way to calm nerves, especially with stress and anxiety at the forefront. Having a pet to care for can help manage depressive symptoms, provide companionship, and become a guide for how to live a better life overall.
  • Sense of purpose. If a person undergoes substance abuse or mental health treatment (or both), it can be discouraging. What helps is to have some motivation to the positive that life is going to look u at some point. Shifting attention away from the self can give a person goals to achieve and a positive focus. The journey to recovery is difficult but not with a loved pet by one’s side.

To consider having a pet by one’s side is to embrace a challenge that can have so many positive benefits. It is helpful to keep some things in mind that they do require time, attention, and money. If you are willing to commit to these things, a companion pet may be just the thing to support your journey to recovery.

The Springboard Center’s addiction treatment programs are tailored to meet the needs of each client. By utilizing a set of diverse methods of addiction treatment, we are able to deal with your addiction from all angles and concentrate on every aspect of your healing process. It is important to recognize that many of our services offer a group setting and environment, so that the client spends time with other people affected by the same chronic disease and problems. 432-620-0255