Woman participating in equine therapy

Can Equine Therapy Help with Cocaine Abuse?

There’s a tremendous benefit to therapeutic approaches that incorporate animals into the healing process, which is that humans and animals require no words to communicate with each other. 

This shared silence can open you up to an entirely new personal experience that may not have been achieved through traditional treatment techniques. Consider equine therapy for drug addiction and how some individuals have sought relationships with horses for decades.  

The entrancing eyes, the intuitive interactions, and the powerful grace of an animal like a horse has drawn people to their presence since ancient Greek times. While riding horses can be exhilarating, there’s something even more profound when you actually take the time to interact with them in a more therapeutic manner. 

That’s exactly why many clinical professionals dealing with substance addiction have started to recommend equine therapy to individuals struggling with addiction. Beyond the primal connection you can achieve through equine therapy, horses are sometimes better at helping you navigate the challenges associated with addiction and recovery.

What is Equine Therapy?

Equine therapy is a form of clinical treatment that incorporates interacting with horses into the actual therapeutic process. It allows you to participate in activities such as feeding, grooming and leading a horse while being supervised by clinical staff. 

  • Equine therapy for drug addiction specifically focuses on helping individuals with substance use disorders address addictive impulses and maladaptive behavioral patterns in a holistic environment that encourages the use of all the senses. 

An outdoor environment and the use of horses provide a unique scenario to actually benefit from the natural connection associated with equine interactions.1

What Are the Benefits of Equine Therapy for Drug Addiction?

The process of equine therapy can be introduced in a variety of clinical settings and has proven effective with individuals struggling with substance addiction. This is because it enables you to immerse yourself fully in observing the behaviors of a majestic animal while feeling no pressure or judgment. 

Many individuals struggling with addiction don’t know how to cope with their feelings, which is why they often use drugs as a way to numb their pain. Equine therapy for drug addiction addresses those emotions while also encouraging personal growth and healing. 

Benefits of equine therapy can include:

  • Learning to better manage feelings of vulnerability 

One of the most difficult things you’ll experience during therapy is having to open up and face feelings of weakness and vulnerability that have fueled your addiction. 

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed when trying to discuss emotional challenges, past traumas or difficult life experiences, the horse can offer a reference point to empower you to better express those problems by exuding quiet strength and support.2

  • Never feeling judged 

It’s amazing to experience that silent connection with an animal. Since animals and humans don’t require words to communicate, the interactions they do share are generally done on a deeper, emotional level. 

This may allow you to feel more at ease around animals and more comfortable confronting the negative thoughts that have impacted your substance use disorder. Having the horse present can provide a sense of peace because they only react to your behavior and emotions with no bias or judgment.2

  • Having your feelings and emotions mirrored by the horse 

One distinct feature of equine therapy is the way that the animals intuitively mirror your feelings. Horses are very empathetic animals, and they have been shown to reflect sadness, discomfort or anguish back toward you during therapy sessions. 

This can improve your ability to embrace a deeper sense of self-awareness by using the horse’s behavior and interactions to monitor your experience and process what’s happening in the moment.3

  • A great outlet for physical activity 

One of the most important aspects of rehabilitation is improving your physical health. There’s quite a bit of evidence that physical activity helps improve your emotional state and decrease addictive impulses. Riding a horse provides you the opportunity to engage in physical exercise, enabling you to exercise muscles you’ve probably never used before.3

How Equine Therapy Helps with Cocaine Addiction and Other Substance Abuse

Equine therapy has proven to be successful for assisting people who suffer from a range of addictions, including cocaine. Equine therapy takes the neurological imbalances and irritability associated with cocaine withdrawal and provides an environment in which your mind and body can begin to heal through quiet reflection and primal connectivity. 

Horses have shown their ability to relax people by improving their mood, reducing their stress, and even alleviating pain. This is achieved by giving you something new to focus on like an activity that’s both soothing and fulfilling at the same time.4

Equine Therapy at Ranch Creek Recovery

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we understand that one of the most important aspects of equine therapy is the bond that’s created between yourself and the animal. 

While it’s true that traditional therapy can genuinely impact your experience throughout rehab, the bond that’s formed between you and the horse is unique and, in some ways, more beneficial. 

Open your heart and your mind to the possibilities of equine therapy, and it may just change your life in ways you never imagined.

Learn more about equine therapy and the holistic therapies we offer and how they can help you.

Contact us to get your questions answered. We’re here to help in any way we can.



1 WebMD. What Is Equine Therapy and Equine-Assisted Therapy? Accessed September 20, 2021. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-equine-therapy-equine-assisted-Therapy

2 Psychology Today. The Therapeutic Value of Horses. Accessed September 20, 2021. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/ending-addiction-good/201708/the-Therapeutic-value-horses.  

3 The National Center for Biotechnology Information. More Than Just a Break from Treatment: How Substance Use Disorder Patients Experience the Stable Environment in Horse-Assisted Therapy. Accessed September 20, 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5054942/.

4 Michigan State University. The science behind equine-assisted activities and therapeutic riding – Part I. Accessed September 20, 2021. https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/the_science_behind_equine_assisted_activities_and_Therapeutic_riding_part_i.  

Equine Therapy

How Can Equine Therapy Benefit Those in Rehab?

Animals have been used for many years to assist people who are in therapy or in some type of recovery program. One of the most popular animals used by alcohol and drug treatment centers for this purpose are horses; their many outstanding qualities such as responsiveness, intellect, sensitivity, and strength are suitable for helping patients with substance abuse disorder.

This kind of therapy is known in the therapeutic world as equine-assisted therapy or horse therapy and many studies support its contribution to the healing process. While many will argue that conventional treatment methods are best for people with addiction problems, reputable drug and alcohol rehab centers that advocate an integrated treatment approach for substance abuse treatment acknowledge the significant role of complementing traditional rehab techniques with holistic and experiential therapies in expediting and improving the effectiveness of the treatment program

Recovering addicts who participate in equine therapy as part of their alcohol and drug rehab plan have been found to show improvement in the following areas:

  • Self-Confidence

Most recovering addicts suffer from low self-esteem and low confidence as they enter treatment. Being in rehab also gives them the impression that they are no longer in control of their addiction, which is why they are admitted to an alcohol and drug rehab facility in the first place.

Fortunately, all these issues can be resolved if they participate in equine-assisted therapy. Being able to work with horses and being able to control them who are large, powerful, and majestic animals can boost their confidence. They start developing positive self-concepts as they realize that they are still able to accomplish something noteworthy as bonding with a powerful animal.

  • Self-Awareness

Horses are responsive and sensitive animals. Unlike humans who can lie about what they truly feel, horses are always honest and will respond based on what was shown to them. For instance, if a patient treats them roughly, the horse will back off or react negatively. The horse’s reaction will help the patient realize that what he did was not the right approach so he will readily adjust his actions until he receives a positive response. Few lectures and encouragement from human counselors are able to provide such sense of self-awareness and realization to the patient than working with horses.

  • Responsibility and Essential Life Values

One of the goals of addiction treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery’s alcohol and drug rehab center is to teach our clients essential life skills, particularly a sense of personal responsibility. As the patient, gradually bonds with the horse, he is also developing a sense of responsibility for its well-being. Apart from responsibility, caring for another living being helps the patient to learn and practice essential life values of empathy, compassion, understanding, and humility. These values will help him adjust and thrive as he works on achieving his best self.

  • Relaxation

Staying inside a rehab facility can be stressful and worrisome given the new surrounding and working towards recovery.

Working and being with horses during therapy can significantly help the patient to relax while giving him encouragement to persevere and cooperate during the entire treatment process. In a study on the effectiveness of equine-assisted experiential therapy published on the Society and Animals, it was revealed that horse therapy significantly lowers psychological distress and improves the psychological well-being of patients who have undergone such treatment.

If you or any of your loved ones are suffering from substance abuse disorder and you are looking through several drug and alcohol rehab centers, it is best to choose a facility such as Ranch Creek Recovery that offers equine-assisted therapy, given the benefits mentioned above, and one that complements traditional treatment with holistic approaches.

Holistic Therapy Treatment

Why You Need Holistic Therapy Treatment

The term “holistic” is obtained from the word “holos” which is a Greek word meaning “whole.” During holistic therapy treatment, a therapist looks at the underlying cause of your current state rather than addressing the immediate symptom. After discovering the underlying cause, the therapist then works to restore the natural balance of your body leading to a more rewarding and sustained quality of life. This type of treatment has been used for many centuries, and the current scientific world is embracing the treatment since it plays an important role in maintaining a good health and overall well-being. Below are reasons why you need holistic therapy treatment.

It restores body balance and improves longevity

If you wish to find harmony and balance within yourself, holistic therapy will help you a lot. This therapy treatment has gained popularity amongst those trying to manage chronic stress with studies showing that reserving time for holistic therapy will reduce stress levels which aid in relaxation and improves longevity. Other psychological and physical concerns such as hormonal imbalances, muscular pains and aches, sleep disorders, and mental vagueness can also be corrected using holistic treatment. Other than being used to correct disorders, holistic therapy can also be done as a form of fun if you love pampering yourself.

It helps the body to self-heal naturally

You might be dissatisfied with the results or experience of using conventional medicine due to limited success rates or adverse side effects associated with prescription drugs. In such scenarios, you should opt for holistic therapy which is a natural and non-invasive treatment that can be used at any age. The treatment effectively works to restore the natural balance of your body by encouraging the body to self-heal. This treatment method offers a more natural approach towards the body healing but can also be used alongside other orthodox medicines.

There is a huge array of treatment options to choose from

A holistic therapist can implement and execute an individualized treatment plan drawing from a wide array of options. This means that you are not limited to the traditional therapy treatment options such as individual and group therapies but rather, you can draw from various holistic therapy techniques to ensure your satisfaction. Some of the treatment options you can choose from including equine therapy, garden therapy, meditation, yoga, and acupuncture. By utilizing these options, your entire body will be brought into balance and will be restored to its proper functioning. These options will help to treat your body, mind, and spirit thus offering ancillary help to the traditional treatment methods.

You will get professional help from experienced staff

Professional staff employed at holistic therapy treatment centers are highly qualified and experienced to ensure that your body is restored to its normal functioning abilities in the shortest duration possible. In case you are new to the recovery program, you will not have to struggle while choosing the right therapy option since the staff members will professionally evaluate your condition and recommend the most suitable and effective option. Having spent many years honing their craft and learning on how to improve their services such as yoga and acupuncture you have no reason to doubt the staff members. In the treatment center, you will also get balanced individual and group therapies which help you understand that you are not alone in your struggle with fighting addiction.

It gives comprehensive aftercare

Holistic therapy treatment doesn’t end after you have recovered since the staff understands that it is easy to revert to addiction. After leaving the treatment center, you will continue enjoying the lessons learned from the treatment staff during the recovery period. Also, your peers will be encouraged to reach out to you and offer guidance and company to ease and quicken the process of recovery.

Without a doubt, holistic therapy treatment is very effective in handling disorders such as stress, emotional trauma, and addiction. This treatment ensures that you revert to your normal life within a short duration of time. It is high time you considered holistic therapy treatment to manage your troubles.

Acupuncture Reduce Cravings

How Acupuncture Can Help Reduce Addiction Cravings

It’s easier to make lifestyle changes when you’re feeling better. It’s so easy for medical practitioners to tell a patient, ‘stop doing this’ or ‘don’t eat that anymore’. You may even be ready to change certain behaviors but sometimes you get that old craving. This is where acupuncture can enter your life. Almost everyone who has tried acupuncture will say it’s great for pain. Acupuncture is also one of the best treatments for insomnia, stress, hormonal imbalances, mood swings, cravings, and addiction. Acupuncture calms the nervous system, restores homeostasis, relaxes the muscles and promotes an over-all sense of well-being. Now that you’re feeling better you can start to think about doing things a little differently – and it’s easier.

But I know – you hate needles! However, these needles are fine like thread but made of flexible stainless steel. You may feel them going in, but once they are in you should not feel any more discomfort. If you have never tried acupuncture before, just ask your practitioner to do a calming point first.

The beneficial effects of acupuncture treatments typically last about 3-4 days. During those days you’ll sleep better, your emotions will be in control, your cravings may decrease if not completely disappear for a while. The acupuncture treatments can be immediately effective and relaxing enough to make you feel spiritually and physically well. In other words, the beast sleeps tonight!
The World Health Organization recognized acupuncture for the treatment of addictions in 1996. Since then researchers have been able to verify its pain relieving and anxiety reduction abilities. Acupuncture is currently offered in more than 700 addiction treatment centers across the country. It’s recognized for helping with secondary symptoms associated with addiction such as sleep disorders, changes in bowel movements, increased frequency of headaches or migraines and various digestive issues.

Addiction eventually affects every part of the body. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine use a variety of modalities including cupping, massage and herbal medicine to achieve desired effects. For example, acupuncture can help clear phlegm from the lungs and regulate breathing. It can brighten the eyes, reduce the sensation of ringing in the ears and clear nasal congestion. Herbal medicine can strengthen the digestive system, help regulate bowel movements and blood circulation. It can also help reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol. Massage with cupping is one of the best remedies for relieving muscle tension. Acupuncture with electric stimulation can reduce pain, inflammation, edema, and ascites. Acupuncture needles can be manipulated to bring heat to an area or reduce heat from an area.

Acupuncture is not a one-size-fits-all type of treatment. Every treatment is customized and points are selected according to the current needs of the patient. This technique is more than 2000 years old and practitioners have had a lot of time to prove the functions of the points and how they interact with one another to achieve a specific result. This means each treatment can be different and effective.

Private Rehab Centers in California

Benefits of Private Rehab Centers in California

Increased Confidentiality at Private Rehab Centers

One of the first things discovered in the initial stages of searching for a treatment program for a drug or alcohol addiction is the wide variety of treatment options available.  While this can be a bit overwhelming, it helps to narrow your search if you have a basic understanding of the different levels of care, from bare bones to luxurious.

Although sporting a higher price tag than many, the private rehab centers in California have many advantages over the larger scale facilities.  When considering all the various features that are important to you while in recovery, you may agree that the private rehab centers in California have the most to offer and can make a positive difference in your recovery experience.

What Private Rehab Centers in California Offer

Just being in California while undergoing treatment for a substance use disorder can enhance the experience.  Add to the great location the many perks and benefits found at private treatment centers, and you may agree that a private, small-scale treatment center is the preferred route to recovery.

Private rehabilitation facilities tend to offer a more intimate setting with a higher ratio of treatment professionals to client.  Having this higher level of care means stronger emotional support at every stage, from detox to treatment to aftercare.  Because of the smaller client population, treatment plans are more flexible and customizable.  Having the ability to tailor a treatment plan specifically to the needs of the client is a huge benefit of a private rehab setting.

Another important feature of a private rehab is the extra layer of security and anonymity provided.  For many, the assurance of privacy and discretion is a top priority when seeking treatment for addiction.

Amenities and Accommodations of a Private Rehab

While having a private room with high-end appointments may not be necessary in addiction treatment, it sure makes your stay more enjoyable.  Today’s private rehab centers in California offer amenities that resemble those of a premium resort and spa.

Luxurious bedding and linens, a gourmet chef, and spa amenities are common in this segment of the addiction treatment industry.  Many private rehabs offer daily housekeeping services, an attentive staff, and individualized care.  The majority of these premier rehab facilities are located in spectacular settings, such as in beautiful hillsides, beach, desert, or mountain locales.

Holistic Therapies Offered at a Private Rehab

One of the most sought after aspects is the menu of adjunct holistic therapies provided.  These activities promote relaxation, contemplation, and healing, so they are a perfect enhancement to the other therapeutic treatment elements.  For example, meditation, journaling, or art therapy may lead to deeper self-knowledge that culminates in a breakthrough in the psychotherapy session.  Learning relaxation techniques through these holistic therapeutic activities will help clients cope with stress better, reducing the risk of relapse.

Examples of these holistic therapies include:

Ranch Creek Recovery is a Private Rehab Center in California

With two locations offering inpatient and outpatient programs, Ranch Creek Recovery provides premium accommodations in Temecula and Murrieta, serving the needs of Riverside, San Diego, and Orange County.  RCR is a non-12-step, holistic treatment program offering a wide variety of experiential therapies, organic meals, and a compassionate, committed staff.  For more information about our programs, please contact us today at (877) 997-8931.

Horse Whisperers: The Benefits of Equine Therapy

There are many alternative therapy options available to those seeking help, as the benefits of holistic treatment become increasingly apparent. Sometimes a traditional route towards recovery just doesn’t work, and in that case, there is a need for a more progressive style of rehabilitation. Of the various therapies we offer at Ranch Creek Recovery, one of the most interesting and well-received programs has been equine therapy.

Equine therapy has been found to be an amazing tool in the process of recovery, and coupled with other forms of rehabilitation individuals have been able to rebuild themselves with a much greater sense of self-worth. Equine therapy utilizes horses to build metaphorical connections between the actions of the animal and the actions of the human participant. Horses are extremely complex animals, and they possess a unique ability to mirror the emotions of humans during an interaction. This type of congruence promotes a connection between the individual and the horse, displaying how a calm and peaceful attitude will positively affect the animal, versus how a disgruntled or frustrated demeanor might upset it. Horses, like humans, do not respond positively to obtrusive commands or gestures, and one of the earliest lessons in any equine therapy involves identifying the proper ways to approach the animal and guide it. In this way, a relationship can be built between the patient and the horse and a feeling of trust can be secured.

Equine Therapy involves instruction in horse care, grooming procedures, saddlery, and basic equitation. Horses are large animals, and ensuring the safety of individuals is our highest priority. In concurrence, proper head protection and other gear is used to confirm everyone’s well-being. While equine therapy itself is fairly new in terms of being a psychoanalytic practice, horses have been used for hundreds of years for therapeutic purposes, and offer a strong sense of awareness that allows them to bond with humans. Students will eventually learn how to properly direct and interact with a horse, learning valuable lessons in areas like self-control, communication, confidence, personal worth, and trust.

It’s important to note that while certain amounts of horse riding occur during equine therapy, there is a very large difference between riding lessons and therapeutic equine sessions. The purpose of each session is to illuminate the power within you through interaction with the horse. This being said, it’s critical that equine therapy is directed by a certified professional to ensure proper training and knowledge. Our staff of equine specialists is experienced and ready to begin a highly enjoyable program designed for your recovery.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we are dedicated to your individual well-being. Our facility is a beautiful space to begin your equine therapy, and we are excited to share the experience with you. So call our treatment facility today at (951) 676-9111.