What do you know about hyenas outside of the goofy characters from The Lion King? In all honesty, probably not a lot. But there’s actually something we can learn from them. In the wild, hyenas are one of the most isolated hunters. They rarely interact with other animals. But it was recently discovered that these lone hunters are changing up their routine.
A few years ago, scientists found that hyenas in southern Israel started to hunt with grey wolf packs. And while the hyenas may have thought they were better off alone, it turns out that’s not the case because both parties bring something to the relationship: The wolves share their amazing hunting skills and the hyenas share their super sense of smell.
In addiction recovery, some doctors are beginning to take a page out of the animal kingdom’s playbook with a practice known as social prescribing. But what actually is social prescribing? In this post, we’ll dig into the answer and share important details on how it can help those in addiction recovery.
The Details on Social Prescribing
Unlike medications, treatments and tests, doctors and healthcare professionals are beginning to do social prescribing, which includes recommendations on ways to interact with society.
Here’s how it works. In most cases, a patient is paired with a “line worker”. That person will work with you to determine lists of activities, groups and events you can join that fit your personal interests. Together, you’ll find engaging opportunities that fit your lifestyle and any specific needs you might have. The great thing about social prescribing is it can help you improve your:
- Mental health and psychological well-being
- Stress and anxiety by relieving feelings of social isolation, and
- Physical health
Social Prescribing and Holistic Health
Social prescribing is part of a holistic health approach that is based on the idea of treating the whole person. People are beginning to realize how important holistic health is for those recovering from addiction. One of the challenges for patients is staying consistent with a holistic health plan.
That’s part of what makes social prescribing such a natural addition to this movement. The “line worker” that we described above, gives those in recovery some extra motivation to continue their holistic health journey. After all, being encouraged to have more accountability can help you maintain your sobriety.
How Does Social Prescribing Help with Addiction Recovery?
Isolation is one of the main hurdles someone in recovery has to overcome. When you isolate yourself, it can feel a lot like quicksand. The more you try to escape it, the deeper it pulls you back in. But the antidote for isolation is connection.
This is where social prescribing can help. Getting a prescription for social activity holds more weight and can be more motivating. Your “line worker” can help you take that hopelessness and restructure it into a plan for social engagement. Social prescribing is a great way to expand your recovery plan and give it a more holistic focus.
Does Social Prescribing Work?
As social prescribing continues to grow, the question becomes how effective it actually is. Over the last few years, researchers have tried to answer that exact question. The majority of studies have shown that social prescribing leads to a higher quality of life and emotional wellness.
In fact, a study in Bristol found that social prescribing lowered anxiety levels and gave people a more positive outlook on life. While more studies are needed to verify results from studies like this one, the early verdict is that social prescribing provides a benefit for those in recovery.
When you’re in addiction recovery, it’s common to have nagging thoughts or leftover pain and confusion about your addiction. Social prescribing can give you more tools to help cope with those intense feelings. And more importantly, it can help you realize that even though it might feel like it, you’re not alone in recovery.
The True Challenge of Recovery is Being Authentic to Yourself
When you’re in recovery, you can feel lost and alone. But no matter where your journey has taken you, there is hope for a brighter future. At The Raleigh House, we focus on providing evidence-based and holistic therapy to help you heal from addiction.
Whether you’re currently suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction or worried about relapsing, we’re here to walk alongside you to lasting recovery. From the first moments of our inpatient or outpatient treatment, you’ll feel the warmth of our staff. They’re here to help personalize your treatment to match your unique needs.
Contact The Raleigh House for Addiction Treatment
We know that it can feel like there is no way for you to escape the pain and self-doubt that addiction causes. But you have the potential to forge a healthier life.
Every positive change starts with a first step. Contact our expert team today to learn more about how our addiction treatment in Denver, Colorado can help. Today is an opportunity to make a decision that supports an intention for a healthy life.