Recreational Therapy

Enjoy time exploring local attractions and outdoor activities that have a social, spiritual, or cultural focus.

Quick Links

Get Help Now

An Addiction Specialist Is Available To Discuss Treatment Options That Are Right For You. (833) 440-8647

Verify Your Health Insurance Benefits

Expedite Admission To Our Facility By Verifying Your Insurance Benefits. Verify Now

Is Residential Treatment Right For You?

Learn About Our Program Learn More

What Is Recreational Therapy?

Recreational Therapy is a complementary therapy for people in substance abuse treatment programs like ours. This therapy allows our clients to engage their bodies and minds in social situations and enjoy time away from more intensive treatments.

Many people with a history of addiction struggle with having fun and engaging in social situations without using drugs or alcohol. Recreational therapy can help our clients understand that it is possible to relax without using drugs or alcohol.

Most Amatus Recovery Centers implement some form of Recreational Therapy. It varies from location to location, but some things remain constant. At Midwest Detox Center, clients participating in our Residential Treatment Program may have the opportunity to explore outdoor activities, local attractions, and historical sites.

This form of therapy reduces stress, which can trigger mood disorders like depression and anxiety. Therapeutic recreation is often considered a holistic therapy and is applied alongside other kinds of behavioral therapy.

Goals of Recreational Therapy

  • A sense of well-being
  • Improved mood
  • Improved social skills
  • Increased motor skills and physical strength
  • Learn how to have fun while sober

A History of Recreational Therapy

The idea of therapeutic recreation has existed for a long time. The concept of Recreational Therapy as a medical practice started during World War II with the formation of the Hospital Recreation Section of the American Red Cross. There were over 1,800 Red Cross workers hired to work in this department, which eventually became a large part of the Office of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals.

Recreational therapy also became population in mental hospitals and medical facilities across the country as soldiers returned home from war. The National Association of Recreational Therapists (NART) formed in 1952.

Today, the Office of Veterans Affairs (VA) still employs the most recreational therapists in the nation. As members of the government healthcare agency for veterans, recreational therapists are part of the overall team to treat members of the military dealing with traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance use disorder.

Recreational therapy has proven to help people suffering with addiction improve physical functioning, reduce stress, reduce anxiety, and reduce maladaptive behaviors such as impulse control problems.

Is Recreation Therapy an Effective Treatment Method?

The positive reinforcement of Recreational Therapy can make abstinence from drugs and alcohol more appealing and reduce the risk of relapse. A study published in 2012 found that people transitioning to sober living houses after rehab were more successful at maintaining sobriety when there were recreational activities available to them. Additionally, a very successful method of relapse prevention involves increasing the availability of sober recreational activities. Access to sober recreational activities increases a person’s ability to regulate their mood and physical health. Studies show that adding this type of therapy to a long-term recovery strategy benefits people managing cravings for drugs and alcohol.

Recreation as a Complementary Therapy

Addiction is a disease that that changes the affected person’s reward system pathways in the brain. Working with a therapist to understand behaviors as a reaction to emotional experiences can help to create new pathways for healthier behaviors.

For optimal results, Recreational Therapy is offered as a complementary therapy to other addiction therapies including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Motivational Interviewing Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Expressive Therapy

While no one form of treatment will work for every person, a general path through detox and then an inpatient rehabilitation program works best for the most people. At Midwest Detox Center, each person’s unique needs are assessed to design the most effective treatment plan possible. Recreational Therapy is included in the treatment plan for most clients.

Is Residential Treatment Right For You?

Learn About Our Program Learn More

Get Help Now

An Addiction Specialist Is Available To Discuss Treatment Options That Are Right For You. (833) 440-8647

Verify Your Health Insurance Benefits

Expedite Admission To Our Facility By Verifying Your Insurance Benefits. Verify Now