Meth Addiction Treatment Centers Treat Abuse Using Equine Therapy
Many people find interacting with animals soothing because it helps them forget their worries and eases their anxiety. For example, pets love unconditionally and remain loyal. But, people with a meth addiction can benefit from contact with animals in even more ways.
Animal therapy improves moods and reduces tension, which assists participants in avoiding some of the largest predictors of meth addiction relapse: depression and stress. In addition, there are physical health benefits, like lowered blood pressure and heart rate. These are some of the reasons meth addiction treatment facilities use equine therapy to treat methamphetamine abuse.
How Do Humans Benefit from Interaction with Animals?
In a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, Andre Beetz describes her findings from a review of 69 studies on human interaction with animals. Her findings indicate animals produce a significant benefit in several areas, including:
- Cardiovascular health
- Interpersonal interactions
- Fear and anxiety
- Stress-related variables
Dr. Beetz attributes many of the benefits to an increase in the hormone oxytocin, which is responsible for creating a bond between mothers and infants as well as lovers.
How Does Animal Therapy Work?
In conjunction with more traditional forms of meth addiction treatment, animal therapy aids participants by assisting them in focusing on something or someone else. Active meth addiction is fueled by a concern only for your own needs. When caring for a creature wholly dependent upon them, participants uncover a nurturing side of themselves. They learn what it means to be cared for in a way they may never have learned before or may have forgotten during their meth addiction. They build self-esteem and confidence.
What Are the Benefits of Equine Therapy?
Horses are large animals and that can help patients who have experienced trauma learn to reclaim their space. They learn to be comfortable around a creature whose size makes them seem threatening.
Horses provide instant, honest feedback during interactions and that helps people who are struggling to rebuild social skills. This helps treat methamphetamine abuse by addressing the isolation that sets I during active addiction.
Further, horses require participants to practice:
- Creative thinking
- Nonverbal communication
- Problem solving
- Trust Confidence
Meth Addiction Treatment Programs Treat Methamphetamine Abuse Using Yoga
There are some pretty standard elements to most meth addiction treatment programs: group and individual therapy, healthful nutrition, recreation, education, and exercise. People looking to treat methamphetamine abuse benefit in numerous ways when they participate in daily exercise. It improves their mood, helps them release aggression and tension, and promotes comprehensive wellbeing. Yoga is becoming more popular in addiction treatment because it does these things and more.
Yoga Assists Participants in Developing New Coping Mechanisms
Most counseling focuses on aiding participants in recognizing their difficulty coping with difficult emotions and thoughts. Then, they learn new ways to manage these stressful situations without leaning on meth use. Yoga addresses this as well by teaching participants how to use controlled breathing to gain control of their emotions and thoughts.
Yoga Assists Participants in Self-Discipline
Meth users tend to be impulsive. One way meth addiction treatment centers address this is by using 12 step programs to have participants develop structured plans to address past hurts and plan future steps. For people in meth addiction treatment, finding a way to conquer negative impulses with a positive action may be the most important tool they gain. Yoga builds on those goals by providing participants with additional tools to assist them in positively directing their emotions.
Yoga Assists Participants in Creating a Spiritual Connection
Many approaches used to treat methamphetamine abuse ask participants to admit that they are powerless over their addiction and need assistance. They are asked to reach out to a higher power that can deal with it. Through meditation, mindfulness, and prayer, yoga also encourages a spiritual connection.
Why Meth Addiction Treatment Centers Use Yoga to Treat Methamphetamine Abuse
Alternative therapies are becoming more common approaches used in meth addiction treatment programs because many of them help patients sit calmly and quietly, while they feel at peace with their mind and body. This is precisely what yoga does. Meth addicts often find their minds are a place of chaos and though learning to quiet that is difficult, it is also vital to recovery. This is why more and more rehabs are using yoga to treat methamphetamine abuse.
But, that isn’t the only benefit yoga provides.
Yoga Replaces Artificial Highs with Natural Ones
Meth users chase euphoria. They turn to meth and other drugs to escape from feelings, thoughts, and situations. They often find themselves empty on the inside and try to fill the void with something that makes them feel good. Yoga assists participants in separating themselves from these external sources of pleasure, detaching from their senses, and directing their attention inward. This allows them to connect with their inner selves. They become more reliant on their inner life
and slowly look less to external pleasures.
Yoga Provides Participants with Community
Meth addiction treatment has a lot of opportunities to form a community, yoga among them. It gives people the sense they are in a tribe. Further, they can transition into the larger yoga community when they leave rehab, giving them the chance to make friends who aren’t recovering addicts. These people are like minded and have the same commitment to maintaining their health and living a balanced life.
Yoga Helps Participants Develop Control ofMind
Yoga is used to treat methamphetamine abuse because it is strength training for the mind. Meth addiction damages the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain used for making choices. The meditation practiced in yoga actually develops this part of the brain. In a less literal way, it also helps people to feel, for the first time in a long time, that they control their mind and not the other way around.