Addiction and mental health treatment should be cut and dry. You send your loved one in, they get their act together, and they learn how to stop behaving the way they did. This way of thinking is rapidly becoming archaic. Addiction and mental health are complicated issues which require a full affront of treatment. The simple treatments of yesterday are no longer effective. Neuroscience experiments have discovered that in order for a successful lifetime of recovery, someone in recovery has to create meaning in their lives. Not everyone makes meaning the same way. Not everyone can create or interpret meaning in the same way. Science has repeatedly proven that attempting to put a blanket treatment plan over addiction is like doctors prescribing band aids to fix every problem– it just won’t work.

Alternative Therapeutic Interventions

Music therapy, art therapy, equine therapy, adventure therapy, nature therapy– all of these “alternative” treatment methods are becoming what is called “evidence-based” showing that they are effective in reducing adverse symptoms of mental health and addiction issues. Each modality has a specific science behind it, a reason for the way that it is used, and a specific methodology to how it relates to addiction treatment.

Equine therapy, for example, has been proven to reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Horses have healing powers, according to various stories of ancient tribes. Man and horse have had close relationships for thousands of years, requiring trust, obedience, and care. Prison systems use ranches and working with horses to rehabilitate convicted felons. Horses can teach someone a lot about humility, recognizing a power greater than themselves, and how to love. When someone has difficulty connecting with a human being, a horse can be a great asset. Finding security with the animal, many are able to cry for the first time, let emotions out in a healthy way, and start to feel a sense of self.

Though these alternative treatment methods might seem unnecessary, they are proving to be helpful. In a famous experiment called “Rat Park” scientists took addicted mice and put them in a big cage where they could mate, play on different toys, run around, and have more freedom. Though their drug of choice, cocaine, was available for them at any time, the mice abstained from doing so. “Rat Park” gave the mice more meaning and activity in their lives than just focusing on cocaine. It helped create connection.

Hired Power is here to help connect you to recovery every step of the way from intervention to bringing recovery back home. For more information on our recovery services, call us today at 800-910-9299.

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