Teen and Dog

Why Teen Addiction Pet Therapy can help society

Just in the United States alone, there are thousands of local shelters, humane society chapters, rescue groups, rehabilitation ranches, and other types of non-profit organizations that provide care, comfort, and support for homeless, abused, and unwanted animals. The one thing that almost all of these groups have in common is their need for more volunteers to help them with their work, and the people who run these organizations are not the sort to turn someone away simply because that person has had some troubles of their own to deal with.

So why not combine the need to help abandoned animals and provide therapy for teens suffering from alcohol and drug addiction.

This is what Inspirations for Youth and Families teen treatment center will be providing its clients in a new program that is sure to assist in their journey to recovery

“A pet is medication without side effects that has so many benefits. I can’t always explain it myself, but for years now I’ve seen how instances of having a pet is like an effective drug. It really does help people.” 

Dr. Edward Creagan, Oncologist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

Benefits of Teen Addiction Pet Therapy

  • Assist in healing
  • Lessen depression
  • Reduce fatigue
  • Releases endorphins (oxytocin) that have a calming effect
  • Significantly decreases pain
  • Lowers anxiety levels
  • Improve bipolar disorder conditions

What is pet therapy?

Pet therapy is also referred to as animal-assisted therapy. Animal-assisted therapy is a growing field that uses dogs or other animals to help people recover from or better cope with health issues.

Who can benefit from animal-assisted therapy?

  • People in short-term/long-term care facilities
  • People receiving medical treatment
  • People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • And teens and adults recovering from alcohol and drug addiction

“We’ve always had pets in our house, but it wasn’t until I got my very own cat, that I realized how much comfort they can bring,” said Dakota, a 13-year old teen.

Pet therapy also provides sensory stress relief by touch and movement which are two healthy ways to quickly manage stress. This could involve petting a cat, taking a dog for a walk, or riding a horse.

The companionship of a pet can ease loneliness and some pets are great stimulus for healthy exercise which can substantially boost mood.

Pet therapy is also being used in nonmedical settings, such as universities and community programs, to help people deal with anxiety and stress in every day life.

Charlie Brown was right, happiness is a warm puppy.