Recovering from drug and alcohol addiction is more than just becoming sober. Building a healthy and balanced life in sobriety can require a much more meaningful journey of becoming more at-home in yourself and your surroundings. At Vertava Health Texas, we operate through a holistic treatment philosophy that recognizes the importance of addressing the mental, physical, and spiritual harms of addiction.

When incorporated alongside traditional treatments such as behavioral therapy and detox, alternative like recreational activities can offer several useful benefits. By utilizing our indoor and outdoor amenities, participating in recreational activities such as hiking and basketball is one way some patients at Vertava Health Texas may learn to better connect with themselves, others, and the natural environment.

How Does Recreational Therapy Work?

Recreational therapy is a type of alternative treatment method that draws on the therapeutic benefits of physical movement.

Unlike traditional forms of talk therapy, recreation-based therapy offers a more creative outlet for essential skill-building. While not a proven treatment method for substance use disorders, recreational activities may enhance the recovery process for some patients and promote healthy lifestyles.

When used in combination with evidence-based treatment modalities, the functions of recreational activities for addiction may help:

  • boost physical and mental health
  • restore motor skills and coordination
  • improve or rebuild social skills
  • inspire greater motivation for recovery

Goals can depend largely on the activities offered within a particular rehab program and the needs of the patient population.

When working with patients who have struggled with drug and alcohol abuse, it’s important to recognize the many harms addiction can cause to a person. The term addiction often refers to the psychological pull a person feels to continue using drugs or alcohol, but it can also have severe effects on other physical and mental functions, such as coordination, memory, attention span, and motor skills. In the process of recovering from addiction, participating in movement-based programs and activities may be a useful way to help counteract these side effects.

Types Of Recreational Activities

Many addiction treatment centers in the United States now offer some recreational outlets for patients in residential programs. The types of activities offered, however, can vary based on location, treatment philosophy, and the amenities of  the facility.

At Vertava Health Texas, our rehab center sits on a scenic, 65-acre landscape of trees, natural creeks, fishing ponds, and walking trails.

The types of activities patients may participate in include:

  • walking
  • hiking
  • fishing
  • basketball
  • zipline challenge
  • wilderness program
  • yoga
  • tai-chi
  • horseback riding

Our facility also possesses a number of onsite amenities, including two fully equipped gyms, a basketball court, a fire pit, and other designated areas for social and wellness activities.

How Recreation Is Helpful For Addiction

Recreational activities recognize how physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing can all be interconnected in the broader picture of a person’s health. As one article explains, holistic treatment encourages “learning more adaptive ways to soothe and comfort the mind, body, and spirit”. This sentiment can hold significant importance for people who have experienced the emotional and psychological effects of drug and alcohol abuse on their personal and social lives.

While recreational activities are primarily based on physical movement and fitness, its benefits are not solely tied to physical health.

When used in combination with proven treatment methods, recreational activities in addiction treatment may:

  • encourage greater self-awareness
  • provide a sense of accomplishment
  • boost confidence
  • increase focus
  • reduce depression and anxiety
  • assist in the recovery of basic motor functioning
  • improve reasoning skills
  • improve teamwork and social skills
  • promote positive self-growth

Participating in recreational activities is also an excellent way for patients to become better aware of their capabilities, strengths, and passions. Many people who become engulfed by their drug or alcohol use often lose sight of activities that give them joy. Actively engaging in activities like sports, fitness, and even walking may help people reconnect with their former hobbies or develop an interest in new ones.

Recreational Activities in Addiction Treatment

At Vertava Health Texas, our holistic approach to treatment recognizes the importance of emotional, physical, and social well-being in the recovery process.As such, outdoor and recreation-based activities may play a helpful role in the holistic benefits that can be gained through the incorporation of both traditional and alternative treatment methods.


Treatment within our rehab programs follows an individualized format that is developed based on the needs of each patient who enters our doors. While patients can typically find great benefit in being active at our facility, our treatment model is also inclusive of patients who may be unable to participate in certain activities due to chronic health conditions or physical disability. We understand that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to treatment. By speaking to our treatment staff, we can help you or a loved one determine if our program is able to accommodate your physical, mental, and psychological needs.