Pet-Friendly Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers
Anyone who has ever loved a pet knows how strong that bond can be. Pets provide companionship and emotional support and can offer physical and psychological benefits for people with disabilities and mental health disorders. For people considering rehab for addiction, the thought of leaving your pet behind for 30 days or more can seem unfathomable. The good news is American Addiction Centers’ treatment facilities welcome emotional support and service animals on a case-by-case basis. Learn more about pet-friendly rehabs below.
Can I Bring My Pet to Rehab?
There are many reasons why people may wish to bring their cat, dog, or other pet to rehab. Some people may not have the means to board their pet, while some people may rely on an emotional support animal (ESA) or service animal to support them with day-to-day activities.
But are rehabs pet-friendly? In short, it depends.
While some rehabs may allow you to bring your cat, dog, or other pet, we recommend calling ahead to confirm if the treatment facility is pet-friendly and any policies they have regarding animals. For example, some treatment facilities may allow ESAs and service dogs but not other pets. You can call American Addiction Centers at or get a text for information on treatment options and specific facilities that may allow pets.
Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)
Deciding to enter rehab can be a stressful time for those suffering from addiction and other mental health disorders. That’s why American Addiction Centers may allow emotional support dogs (ESAs) to accompany their owners through treatment on a case-by-case basis.
ESAs provide support for owners who need companionship and emotional support due to a mental health disorder such as anxiety or depression.1 To legally be considered an ESA, the animal must be prescribed by a licensed mental health professional.1 ESAs are not service dogs, and as a result, there are certain restrictions as to where they can accompany their owners.1 For example, ESAs generally can’t accompany people into restaurants or shopping malls.1
There are, however, some accommodations for ESAs that are mandated by federal law. The Fair Housing Act includes emotional support animals under the umbrella of assistance animals, and therefore, pet bans, pet deposits, and other pet-related restrictions are waived.1
Similarly, deciding to enter rehab can be stressful for those with disabilities. Like ESAs, service dogs are welcome on a case-by-case basis at American Addiction Centers’ treatment facilities.
Service dogs are trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability, which includes tasks such as alerting a deaf person, guiding a visually impaired person, or pulling a wheelchair.2 Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service dogs are generally permitted to go everywhere their owner goes.2
What Is Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT)?
Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) involves counselors, social workers, or therapists who use animals in treatment therapies. AAT is designed to help achieve certain objectives in treatment through interaction with an animal.3
AAT can be effective when used in conjunction with other therapeutic interventions for people who have co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.3 AAT has been shown to help improve a patient’s overall health and well-being by enhancing emotional regulation, increasing empathy and self-control, and decreasing anxiety and stress.2
For people with a dual diagnosis (experiencing drug or alcohol addiction and a co-occurring mental health condition), studies show that AAT, carried out in a residential inpatient treatment facility along with traditional therapeutic interventions like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can improve life skills and reduce impulsiveness.3 Another benefit of AAT is sustained patient engagement. Keeping a patient committed and engaged during treatment can be one of the more challenging obstacles that therapists face.3 However, animals can help keep a patient feeling confident and safe during treatment and help build a strong therapeutic alliance.3
How to Find Pet-Friendly Rehab Centers Near Me
Policies regarding emotional support animals, service animals, and pets alike can vary between treatment facilities, so it’s best to call ahead if you have questions. The good news is, you have several options if you are looking for pet-friendly rehabs near you. Taking your time to consider the different types of treatment programs available can ensure your unique needs are met. You may find that there isn’t an appropriate treatment program near you, but you can consider traveling out of state for treatment as well. Some popular states for treatment include California, Florida, New Jersey, and Texas. You can call American Addiction Centers to discuss your needs at , get a text, or use our rehab directory to search by amenities and location.
Does Insurance Cover Pet-Friendly Rehab?
Finding a rehab that’s the right fit for you and in-network with your insurance can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, most insurance companies cover at least part, if not all, of the cost of rehab. While insurance coverage will vary by company and policy, checking your coverage is simple. You can call the number on the back of your insurance card, contact an admissions navigator at American Addiction Centers at , or fill out the form below to learn more.