Dog owners can tell you that the favorite part of their day is coming home to their dog. Having your best bud greet you at the door with a wagging tail and a sloppy puppy kiss, it’s the best feeling a dog owner can have.
Although dogs are great for their cuddles and kisses, they can have an even greater purpose. Whether you’re struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, a furry friend can serve as your emotional support animal on your road to recovery.
We know that struggling with addiction is extremely difficult. That’s why having an emotional support animal can aid in the process of addiction recovery. Dogs are known for helping their owners live longer and healthier lives, so it’s no different when it comes to helping with recovery.
Emotional support animals help reduce stress, anxiety, and negative emotions, while releasing natural mood-elevating chemicals. They also encourage healthy habits, like accountability, socialization, and helping to build love and trust.
Establishing daily routines like walking your dog and feeding time can help recovering addicts develop responsibility. ESAs help their owners find healthy and viable ways to reach a positive emotional state and they can reduce dependence on drugs or alcohol.
If you’re not ready to commit to having your own emotional support animal, animal assistance therapy is also an option. Individuals can volunteer at animal rescue shelters. Volunteering allows those recovering from drug or alcohol abuse to perform selfless acts and enjoy the company of animals in need.
Volunteering at animal shelters gives one a sense of strength and purpose. Perhaps you may even discover further on your road to recovery that having an emotional support animal is the right choice for you.
There is hope when it comes to recovering from addiction, and emotional support animals can be an influential factor in your recovery process. For more information, visit The Clearinghouse or call the Prevention Department at (563) 326-4116.
CADS offers a variety of substance abuse services focused on support, care, and treatment designed to meet the needs of families and individuals of all age groups in the community.