When you seek rehab treatment to end your addiction to drugs or alcohol, you likely think of group therapy gained by sitting in bright rooms in folding metal chairs. But rehab treatment takes place through a wide variety of activities and methods. These include therapies you actually find fun and engaging, such as recreational therapy.
What Is Recreational Therapy?
Recreational therapy seems like an odd way to treat addiction, at first. But this complementary method works well for many people.
After all, one of the most prominent behaviors of addiction is isolation. You isolated yourself to avoid questions and suspicions of others about your substance abuse. You’re also isolated to use your drugs or alcohol and hide from the realities of daily life. But now in sobriety, you need to socialize.
People stuck in addiction for long periods of time actually forget how to socialize. You feel socially lost, shy and even fearful. Many suffer anxiety and depression because of their lack of social activity, hobbies, and interests.
What Happens in Recreational Therapy?
Through recreation therapy, you learn how to engage with others and have fun again. You learn how to relax without abusing substances. You also gain physical and mental benefit from recreation used as a type of exercise therapy. Still, recreation therapy involves working with a therapist to achieve the best benefit from your activities.
Recreation therapy includes a mix of methods, including:
- Arts, music, and crafts
- Sports or team activities
- Dance and exercise therapy
- Yoga and martial arts
- Animal therapy
- Community outings
- Beach activities
Some recreation therapies use self-expression to open new doors in your life and expand your horizons, such as through art or music. But in warm, sunny climates, taking advantage of the outdoors provides great benefit. However the recreation takes place, goals include reduction of stress and symptoms of mood disorders. One of the most significant benefits of this recreation and exercise therapy is a jump start to your brain’s healthy pleasure chemical production, for chemicals once replaced by drugs or alcohol.
Your recreation and exercise therapy helps you meet specific goals in treatment. These include improving your mood, enhancing your motor skills and physical strength, achieving social skills and gaining independence. Your sense of well-being also improves. You enjoy a better quality of life, work-life balance and time management, too.
When you return home, you use what you learn in recreational and exercise therapy for a healthy daily life.
History of Recreation in Recovery
Recreation has long helped people recover from a wide variety of ailments and problems. This method became widely used during World War II, although Florence Nightingale pioneered recreation as part of medical treatment in the 1800s. During the Second World War, the American Red Cross formed their Hospital Recreation Section with 1800 workers for the department. Today, the Office of Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospitals use recreation for most patients’ recovery.
Today’s recreation therapists work in helping patients recover from traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, PTSD, drug addiction and alcohol dependence. Using methods of recreation, people from all over the country improve physical abilities, stress reduction, anxiety symptoms, and negative behaviors. Recreation helps you fight cravings and deal with life stress in addiction recovery, for long-lasting wellness.
Finding Your Own Recreational Therapy Program
Along with recreation, you need a range of other addiction therapy services and programs. At Melrose Recovery Group in Los Angeles, these include:
- Detox and inpatient rehab
- Art, music, nutrition, and exercise therapy
- Experiential therapy
- Evidence-based therapies
- Adventure and team sports
- Peer group treatment for 18 to 30-year-olds
Enjoying your therapies plays a big role in using what you learn. Although it takes a range of therapies to achieve your recovery goals, some of these are fun. Learn more about recreational therapy and other treatment methods of Los Angeles detox and rehab at Melrose Recovery Group. Call Melrose Recovery Group now at 866-942-4794.