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Pet-Friendly Rehab AND Addiction Treatment

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Pet-Friendly Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers That Allow Dogs and Cats

In general, 53 million (19.4%) Americans aged 12 or over currently use illegal drugs or misuse prescription drugs.1 If smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol are also considered, a total of 165 million (60.2%) people across the USA are experiencing substance abuse.1 At the same time, 38.4% of American households own dogs and 25.4% own cats.2

Because substance use disorders are such a prevalent problem with far-reaching consequences for both the individual and the society at large, it’s vital for suitable treatment options to be accessible to the largest possible number of people.3 

Many treatment seeking individuals own pets themselves or would benefit from including pets in their rehab program. Rehab centers that allow pets provide the chance for the patients to experience the animal-human bond while recovering.3 

What Is a Pet-Friendly Rehab Center?

Pet-friendly rehab centers allow the patients to bring their pets with them and/or include animal-assisted therapy in their treatment plans. Pets can provide a special kind of companionship and support to the recovering individual.3 

Generally, the presence of animals can facilitate patients’ progress and increase the likelihood of positive treatment outcomes. Rehab centers that allow pets have recognized this opportunity and they use the healing power of being around animals to aid recovery.3

Do Rehab Centers Allow Pets?

This depends on the policies of your treatment facility. Some rehab centers may allow pets and others may not. Also, in some pet-friendly treatment centers, certain types of pets are allowed while others aren’t.4 

If you or a loved one would like to take your pet with you when you go into rehab or you’d like your program to involve animal-assisted therapy, it’s advisable to check the facility’s policy on this issue. You can make sure that they’re one of the rehabs that allow pets by contacting them and discussing this on the phone.

How Do Pets Help in Addiction Treatment?

Animal-assisted therapy can be an effective addition to other forms of treatment for substance use disorders. In a study that explored this issue, the people who took part in animal-assisted therapy made progress in impulse control and other skills, which improved their quality of life and helped maintain abstinence.3

A bond with animals can provide people with significant mental health benefits. A pet offers companionship, enjoyment, and a sense of hope, which can all stimulate the willingness to stay sober. Typically, this connection is established because people get a sense of purpose from being needed, which is similar to the relationship between a parent and a child.4

Do Rehab Centers Allow Dogs?

Some treatment facilities provide dog-friendly rehab. Apart from rehab centers that allow patients to bring their pets with them, there are also facilities that allow therapy dogs. However, since this varies between facilities, it’s best to check this beforehand by phoning your treatment center. For example, dogs may be brought to the facility to give patients encouragement and boost morale, and they may also be included in educational groups.4 

How Do Trained Service Dogs Help in Rehab?

Service dogs can assist people struggling with alcoholism, drug abuse, and co-occurring conditions that affect mental health. They’re trained specifically to carry out certain tasks that their owners’ conditions call for. According to the Americans With Disabilities Act, they can accompany their owners everywhere they go, which includes rehab centers.5

Some of service dogs’ duties may include guiding people with visual impairments, signaling individuals with hearing loss, getting items for those with reduced mobility, and getting help when someone is experiencing a life-threatening situation, like a heart attack. They’re also loving companions to their owners, which improves their psychological well-being..5

What Are Emotional Support Dogs?

Emotional support dogs help their owners who struggle with a mental health disorder. While they aren’t trained to carry out any special tasks to assist their owners, they need to be well-behaved dogs. Their role is to provide their owners with companionship, hope, and a purpose. Since not all treatment centers allow emotional support dogs to stay with their owners, you have to make sure that your facility offers dog-friendly rehab.6 

Dogs can help recovering individuals focus, improve their dedication to recovery, and enhance their involvement in treatment.3 

What Is Pet Therapy and Animal-Assisted Therapy?

Trained animals, typically dogs and horses, can be used in the treatment of substance use disorders in pet-friendly treatment centers. Animal-assisted therapy can be a helpful form of adjunctive treatment for patients who struggle with substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders.

They may be brought in by volunteers to put recovering individuals in a better mood. Also, they could be included in the course of treatment by a counselor, social worker, or another therapist.5 

Do Rehab Centers Allow Therapy Dogs?

Some facilities implement animal-assisted programs, including dog-friendly rehab, to improve their patients’ physical, emotional, cognitive, and social well-being. They’re tailored to complement other therapeutic approaches and can be implemented as a form of individual or group therapy. Dogs are often included because they respond well to training and there are many different breeds to choose from.3 

If your preferred center offers animal-assisted therapy, having dogs around will likely be a part of your treatment program. However, it’s best to check this with the facility before you enter treatment.3

Do Rehab Centers Allow Cats?

In some cases, cats are better companions for the elderly because they require less care than dogs. Also, in one study, women who owned cats reported that their pets offered them unconditional love and affection. Another research showed that owners can emotionally attach to cats just as strongly as they can to dogs. These may be some of the arguments in favor of cat-friendly rehab.

While some treatment centers provide cat-friendly rehab, others don’t. The best way to make sure that your rehab facility offers this type of treatment is to call their helpline and discuss the details with the admissions team

Can I Bring My Dog or Cat to Rehab?

Not all treatment facilities offer pet-friendly drug rehab. Also, some animal companions, namely service dogs, are allowed to go everywhere with their owner, while others, like cats or emotional support dogs, aren’t.6 It’s best for treatment seeking individuals to contact their center and go over this. The best treatment centers are open to discussing every individual’s needs and providing suitable options. 

How to Find a Pet-Friendly Rehab Center Near Me?

American Addiction Centers provides evidence-based substance use disorder treatment to patients across the USA and their team is available to discuss your options for pet-friendly rehab. AAC facilities are located in several states, allowing patients to select one that suits them the best

Depending on your circumstances and needs, you can enter tailored outpatient addiction treatment or receive intensive inpatient treatment services. You can also have a comfortable stay at one of AAC residential centers in Aliso Viejo, CA, Las Vegas, NV, Grand Prairie, TX, Etta, MS, Riverview, FL, Hollywood, FL, Lafayette Township, NJ, or Worcester, MA.

If none of these locations is suitable for you, feel free to call the AAC helpline and get recommendations from their admissions team. They can help you find a program that addresses the specific concerns of your age group and inform you about the course of our intake process as well as the structure of our initial clinical assessment

Does Insurance Cover Pet-Friendly Rehab?

Under the Affordable Care Act, the treatment of substance use disorders is labeled essential care, making its inclusion in health insurance plans mandatory. Whether you have public or private insurance, it will cover at least a part of the cost of your pet-friendly rehab. However, because the extent of coverage varies, you need to check how much will be covered by your plan and how much you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket.7 

In case you aren’t insured, treatment expenses can be covered by private pay. In addition, there are free rehab options to consider if you can’t cover the cost of treatment in another way. You can get a better understanding of available payment options by calling your facility directly. 7

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The editorial staff of Projectknow.com is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands of pages for accuracy and relevance. Our reviewers consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA, NIDA, and other reputable sources to provide our readers the most accurate content on the web.
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