Importance of Service & Emotional Support Animals in Substance Abuse Treatment

Mar 9, 2022 | Pet-friendly

We understand that going for rehab can be one of the most difficult decisions. However, we tend to forget about the people with mental or physical disabilities. Some of them rely on service animals and emotional support animals to get them through their daily routine. For these people, getting into rehab for a 30 day period can get even more cumbersome. This is the reason why several rehab centers are allowing people to have their pet companions with them. Let us find out why.

Service Dogs

While undergoing addiction treatment and rehab, service dogs can help you on the journey of sobriety. Hence, many treatment centers are allowing service dogs to accompany the clients on a case-to-case basis. 

They are able to perform the necessary functions for people with disabilities. The only condition is that they should be able to adhere to commands in a public space and environments, which are distracting. 

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service dogs are allowed to accompany their owners to every public space. This includes doctor’s offices and patient rooms. Therefore, it is only right that several centers are now recognizing the importance of service dogs in their treatment. They can help the owner be independent on their own. They help to perform some of the the basic tasks of the client by assisting them in:

  • Guiding people with visual impairments
  • Signaling to people who are hard of hearing
  • Retrieving things for people with physical disabilities
  • Altering nearby people in the case of any life-threatening events

Emotional Support Dogs

Since going to rehab involves a lot of emotional and mental stress for a lot of time, an emotional support dog can change the outlook towards therapy. Emotional Support Animals (ESA) have been hailed to be instrumental for people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness. These include extreme anxiety disorders, PTSD, bipolar disorder and depression. People with these issues sometimes face immense difficulties in carrying out their daily activities. Hence, these ESAs facilitate their daily lives by acting as the necessary anchor. 

To qualify as an ESA, the dogs do not need any specific training. They just need to behave themselves in public situations and not cause any disturbances. Many rehab centers allow their clients to be accompanied by an emotional support dog to ensure a smooth treatment journey. Get in touch with us to learn more!