Residential treatment programs for drug and alcohol abuse utilize a set of therapies including individualized therapy, group therapy, recreational therapy, and complementary therapy. Recreational therapy is also known as therapeutic recreation. According to the National Council For Therapeutic Recreational Certification, recreational therapy for substance abuse treatment uses activity-based intervention to address the physical, emotional, behavioral and psychological health needs of the individual. This therapy involves the patient in enjoyable activities to improve her emotional, social, cognitive and physical functioning.
The patient receiving recreational therapy sees a therapist several times a week depending on her needs. Recreational therapy for drug and alcohol treatment includes activities including:
- Tai chi
- Community outings
- Arts and crafts
- Animal therapy
In recreational therapy, the therapist also utilizes other therapies including art therapies and expressive therapies. The most important part of this therapy is group-oriented outdoor activities. The goal is to reduce the stress that can trigger depression and anxiety. Reducing stress reduces neurotransmitter production to moderate. This further reduces the risk of substance abuse.
Recreational therapy is often personalized with unique emotional, physical, social and environmental needs of the patient in mind. The patient receives this therapy alongside other behavioral therapy.
- Improves mood
- Improves social skills
- Increases physical strength
- Improves motor skills
- Helps in improving the sense of well-being
- Improves time management skills
- Helps in achieving work-life balance
- Improves the quality of life
The History of Recreational Therapy
The concept of recreational therapy came into existence during the Second World War. This therapy gain popularity in facilities and mental hospitals for soldiers returning from war. After the formation of the National Association of Recreational Therapists in 1952, many other organizations came into existence.
Now there are thousands of patients receiving this therapy to control addiction related problems.
Recreational therapy and addiction treatment
This therapy plays an important role in drug addiction treatment. People with the problem of alcoholism or any other substance abuse problem are found to have a chronic disease. This disease can change the reward system pathways of the patient’s brain.
However, these changes can be fixed. The patient can visit a residential treatment center and join a residential treatment program in Rhode Island. A mental health professional will understand your behaviors and emotional experiences. The therapist will use this understanding for creating new pathways that will help in achieving healthier behaviors. In addition to recreational therapy, a comprehensive residential treatment program for drug and alcohol abuse also includes other therapies such as:
- Contingency Management
- Peer support
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Family therapy
- And some alternative treatments
A particular treatment plan may not work for all patients. However, a general program works for most of the patients. The therapist can make some changes in the residential treatment for a patient. This way it is easy to address the needs of the patient. However, recreational therapy remains at the forefront even when it is a personalized program for the patient.
How Effective Is Therapeutic Recreation?
Recreational therapy is able to address a lot of needs of people struggling with physical and mental disabilities. Veterans and dementia patients are also reaping the benefits of this treatment. A patient struggling with addiction needs a larger treatment plan which includes recreational therapy as well. The patient cannot solely depend on recreational therapy. However, it does help in reducing the risk of relapse.
According to a study published on ScienceDirect, patients who moved from rehabilitation program to housing successfully maintained sobriety when recreational activities and skills-building courses were included in the program. A residential treatment program which includes recreational therapy with other therapies can be helpful.
Find a substance abuse treatment center offering residential treatment program in Rhode Island.