The Benefits of Recreation During Rehab
There are many goals of Clonazepam addiction therapy. Patients must undergo physical healing while increasing motivation to abstain, identifying and addressing any emotional or other issues underlying addiction and learning to avoid relapse triggers. They must also learn new ways to enjoy life without using drugs or alcohol. For that reason recreation during rehab can be an important part of the therapy process.
The word recreation can be read as re-creation, or creating again. By that definition recreational activities are a perfect fit for rehab which is, at its nature, a time of creating or beginning anew. In its more traditional definition, recreation is anything done for relaxation and enjoyment.
Recreation during rehab can be informal or can be a focused part of an individual therapy program. Facilities may choose to hire or partner with recreational therapists who have completed the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification. Recreational therapists have specialized training and must maintain their credentials through a regular re-certification process. The American Therapeutic Recreation Association notes the following about recreational therapy:
- Recreational therapists consider health to be more than the absence of illness.
- Recreational therapy focuses on physical, emotional, social, cognitive and leisure development.
- The goal is for individuals to be able to participate fully and independently in chosen life pursuits.
- Recreational therapy is highly individualized.
- Therapy choices are based on the past, present and future interests of patients.
Components of Recreational Therapy
A 2009 report from the State University of New York (SUNY) notes that therapeutic recreation programs can be very diverse but that most focus on improving both functioning and attitudes. People are helped to discover their recreational interests and their personal barriers to participation. Barriers may be physical or emotional. Common barriers include deficits in social skills, communication, motivation, opportunity, money, time or perceived skill. People may also experience fear of embarrassment or worry about trying something new. Sometimes guilt or shame keeps people from feeling they should be allowed to participate in enjoyable leisure activities. The SUNY report notes that many substance abuse patients have experienced early childhood trauma and that this may influence an individual’s ability to develop trust, which may also impede participation in recreational activities.
Leisure attitudes and functioning can be determined in formal or informal ways. Some recreational therapists use diagnostic instruments like the Leisure Diagnostic Battery. This form asks individuals to answer questions about such leisure components as learning new activities, meeting people and thinking of fun things to do. People are asked about their perceived skill levels and whether or not they turn to recreational activities for relaxation or to meet other goals. Treatments are then instituted which help patients learn the importance of recreation and develop skills and confidence in a structured, non-threatening way.
How Recreation Benefits Individuals in Recovery from Addiction
Recreation can be physical or non-physical, individual or social. Each type provides specific benefits. Some of the benefits of recreation during Clonazepam addiction treatment and recovery include the following:
- Physical activities can help with the goal of increasing overall health. Exercise can decrease stress levels and can improve oxygenation, fitness and sleep quality.
- Physical activity is good for the brain. Addiction to drugs like Clonazepam is a brain disease, and healing the brain is an important part of recovery. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that exercise may help develop connections between cells in the brain, assist in repair of neural tissue, enhance the formation of blood vessels and generate new neurons in areas involved with forming memories. They report that older people who exercise increase their cognitive functioning.
- Physical activity improves mood. NIDA reports that exercise stimulates the brain’s reward pathway and heightens feel-good neurochemicals. Physical activity can relieve mild depression and may also improve stress tolerance.
- Recreation may help decrease drug craving. A 2012 NIDA article reported on animal studies in which the animals that exercised reduced their cocaine-seeking behavior. The authors hypothesize that the effect is due to lowered levels of a protein linked to drug craving. A 2012 article in the American Journal of Recreation Therapy reports on a study of adolescents being treated for substance abuse in a juvenile detention center. After completing a recreational therapy program, study participants reported their cravings levels to be lower.
- Achieving a degree of success in sports or other recreational activities can help build confidence. Self-confidence is an important part of learning to avoid peer pressure and negative influences.
- Participating in team activities can help participants learn communication and social skills which can improve relationships and lower stress, a known relapse trigger.
- Developing interest in individual recreational activities, like completing puzzles or hiking or cooking, can give people a repertoire of activities to turn to at any time when they might otherwise be tempted to turn to alcohol or drugs.
- Overcoming challenges related to recreational pursuits can help people develop and improve their problem-solving skills.
- Developing interest in group activities can give people a way to meet others and find new, healthier peer groups.
We Can Help You Find Treatment
If you would like to find a Clonazepam addiction treatment program that utilizes proven, creative therapies tailored to each patient, give us a call. Our 24 hour, toll-free helpline is staffed with caring and knowledgeable individuals who can answer your questions and help you identify your treatment options. They can also check your insurance coverage for you if you wish at no cost or obligation. Addiction is treatable. Let us help you find your road to recovery.