April is National Occupational Therapy Month in which we celebrate the more than 213,000 occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and students nationwide who work to improve the lives of their clients and their families. Occupational therapists work tirelessly to engage with people of all ages to promote health and prevent illness, injury, or disability. This National Occupational Therapy Month, we specifically discuss the ways that occupational therapists can be particularly helpful in addiction recovery.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy is science-driven, evidence-based health-care that helps people of all ages experiencing physical, sensory, or cognitive problems. This form of therapy helps people regain independence and break down barriers affecting a person’s emotional, social, and physical needs.
Typically, occupational therapists aid in recovery from injury, disability, or illness from a holistic perspective. This includes actively integrating clients and their families in treatment plans in order to emphasize the adaptation of the therapy environment to fit a client’s specific needs.
Occupational Therapy Services
Typically, occupational therapy services include:
- Customized treatment programs and intervention
- Adaptive equipment recommendations and training
- Comprehensive home and job site evaluations
- Guidance for family members
- Performance skills assessments, treatment, and evaluation
How Occupational Therapy Can Help Those In Recovery
- Occupational therapy can be particularly helpful after the diagnosis of a substance abuse problem. Typically, Occupational Therapists can help those in recovery and treatment by teaching them coping skills and alternative approaches to pain management and other potential triggers. Additionally, occupational therapists may teach those in recovery strategies like:
- Stress management techniques
- Sleep hygiene practices
- Reframing habits
- Activity pacing and alternative approaches