The belief that drug and alcohol addiction are merely poor choices is becoming a rarity. Professionals in the field of drug and alcohol rehab understand drug abuse and alcoholism are physiological diseases that require real treatment and not stigmatization and ostracization. Treatment options have changed from the original medication and inpatient therapy. When people change, treatment needs to change to suit the patient’s needs. Today, several new medications and therapies are helping those with substance abuse maintain a sober lifestyle.
Read on for details on art therapy, exposure therapy, detoxification, medication, animal therapy, and other options that are helping patients reduce their dependency:
1. Art therapy
Art can be peaceful and freeing. Allowing the addict to share their story through imagery is a positive method to help them overcome addiction. It is well known that an addictive personality may retreat into their previous behavior but using art as an outlet may enable the client a positive method of supporting their addiction.
2. Exposure therapy
Exposure therapy seems harsh, but great strides are being made in this type of counseling. Addicts may not be able to see the results of their behavior. Showing them what can happen if they do not change their ways may effectively scare them into avoiding using drugs or drinking. Helping them through showing the reality of their current path can guide them forward.
The patient is put in a hospital and monitored while given liquids and IV treatment to flush the drugs from their system. Medication can be used to help the client while going through detox. Other substances with fewer addictive qualities are given to fake the brain into believing it is getting the chemicals that will help it. There is concern that a patient may become addicted to the substitute drug, which makes this therapy option less popular, though it is still used. There are medications available in rehab centers for drug and alcohol dependence.
4. Animal therapy
Animals have been proven to help patients with physiological addiction. Having responsibility for a lesser creature gives the patient a purpose that can help them remain calm. One of the catalysts for reverting to drugs and alcohol is stress. Pets help relieve stress and help the patient caregiver release endorphins that help them feel happy. Equine therapy is similar to pet therapy though the patient goes horseback riding. The feeling of freedom while riding a horse can help reduce anxiety and remove the desire for their chemicals.