Benefits of Music and Art Therapy for Recovering Addicts

music and art therapyWhen you’re recovering from drug or heroin addiction, you use various methods to remain free from drugs and alcohol. You may meet with an addiction support group led by a therapist where you discuss issues you face as a person in addiction treatment and recovery. You incorporate exercise into your life so that you can experience a strong, healthy body. You reach out to friends and family to receive the loving, positive support you need. But these aren’t the only ways to remain free from substance abuse. Art and music therapy are two other addiction treatment options that may help you as well.  Below, we discuss art and music therapy in more detail and how it can potentially help men and women suffering from addiction get well.

What is Art Therapy?

According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy occurs when an art therapist works with a client to foster creativity, boost self esteem, improve social skills, reduce stress and deal with emotional conflicts. This is achieved through the creation of art, whether through painting, sculpting, drawing or any other type of visual art form.

Michigan State University Extension states that art therapists “use patients’ free form art expressions to encourage them to talk about the images and to begin to look to themselves for meaning and insight.”

Art therapy relieves stress. If you’re a recovering addict you may experience anxiety on a daily basis, constantly worrying that you will slip back into your old ways of drug and alcohol abuse. Creating art under the direction of a licensed art therapist distracts you from your worries and leaves your mind calm and clear. It can help you deal with the overwhelming emotions you feel when you think about your life as an addict and the people you’ve hurt.

What is Music Therapy?

Music Therapy Association reports that music therapy is a health profession where music is used to treat “physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals.” Typical treatment involves singing, listening, playing and moving to music. All kinds of people can benefit from music therapy. Young, old, patients with brain injuries, Alzheimer’s patients, chronic pain sufferers and recovering addicts are just a small sample of people who may find music therapy beneficial.

Music stimulates every corner of your brain. It helps you relax, relieves depression symptoms, lowers your blood pressure levels and helps manage pain. Music therapists might use guided imagery with music or they may teach music to their patients. News Medical Life Science reports that music therapists may choose to use “rhythm, notation, sequence and movement” to help the patient learn and heal.

Incorporating Music or Art Therapy into Recovery

If you are a recovering addict, seek out art and music therapists to aid you in your recovery journey. Local community centers, hospitals, wellness centers and drug treatment facilities may all offer these types of therapies. If there are no art and music therapists located nearby, consider taking an art class at a local art studio.

Drawing, sculpting from clay or painting can be just the thing you need to relax and get in touch with your creative side. Creating art makes you focus on details and your surrounding environment, a state of mind that closely resembles meditation. Try learning to play a woodwinds instrument like the clarinet or saxophone. Playing an instrument will provide you with a sense of accomplishment and help you deal with anxiety.

As a recovering addict, you struggle with the daily job of resisting temptations to return to drugs or alcohol. And although you receive support from support groups, a therapist, family and friends, each day is an uphill battle toward permanent sobriety. If you are seeking other methods of remaining drug and alcohol free, consider working with an art or music therapist. Their alternative treatment options focusing on creativity may provide you with the inspiration you need to stay on track toward living a long, healthy life.

Need Addiction Treatment and Help?

Our online drug addiction and recovery community helps men and women suffering from Substance Use Disorder, drug and heroin addiction who are sick and tired of being slaves and get the addiction help and treatment they want, need and deserve. For those ready for a chance, fill out our brief addiction treatment contact form. You can also call our drug rehab hotline at 215-857-5151.


Written by Michelle Peterson, Guest Blogger For Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™, Heroin News, and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers (NAATC)

Edited and Published by William Charles

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