If you are recovering from an addiction, you need all the personal support you can get. While this support typically comes from loved ones and friends, it can from other source as well, and these sources do not even have to be human. Adopting a pet, such as dog or a cat or even a hamster, can provide you with lots of benefits on your road to recovery. These include:
1. They Give You a Non-Judgmental Companion
One of the great things about having a pet is that they never judge or criticize you. They love you unconditionally, which is just what you need when you are recovering from an addiction. They won’t harp upon your past mistakes, they won’t get mad if you happen to experience a setback, and they will always be there to provide you comfort and companionship.
2. They Help Keep You Active
Another great thing about pets is that they can help you stay fit and active. Pets need constant attention — whether it be walking a dog or playing with a cat — and this attention can keep your mind off your troubles and desires, and it can give you something positive and healthy to do at all times.
3. They Can Help You Interact Socially
It is not uncommon for addicts to use substances as a means of human interaction, and without them you may find it difficult to meet people, which can make you both lonely and more susceptible to temptation. But pets provide you with a way to meet others without the use of substances, such as when you are playing with your dog in a park. You can also meet other pet owners at the vet or in a pet store. You can even join a local pet-related meetup group.
4. They Give You Someone To Talk To
Not everyone is comfortable in confiding to others, especially strangers. But everyone can talk to a pet. You can tell your pet everything you feel. You can vent your frustrations and confess your worst secrets. You can also use pets to practice conversations you hope to have with others, such as friends and loved ones. With a pet you are further never lonely, as you always have a friend to talk to.
5. They Can Improve Your Mood and Reduce Anger, Stress and Despair
Recent medical studies have shown that taking care of a pet and playing with it can significantly improve you mood, by releasing chemicals into your brain such as serotonin and dopamine. By improving your mood naturally you will be less tempted to try to improve it through artificial and dangerous means. Other studies have shown that interacting with pets can reduce anger, stress and sadness, which are emotional states that can often drive substance abuse.
6. They Can Encourage You To Become Responsible
No matter what pet you get, the one constant is that you can’t ignore them. You must feed them and groom them and give them lots of love. This means that you are responsible for their well being. It also means that you cannot just go off and do whatever you want, and this will help prepare you for future responsibilities. What’s more, you get rewarded for this responsibility, and this reward is in the form of friendship and love.
In conclusion, adopting a pet can provide lots of help for those recovering from addiction. They are a source of support that will be there 7 days a week and 24 hours a day, and they will always love you.