Music therapy for addicts rehabilitation.

Are Music and Art Therapy Effective? What Do Studies Say?

Music is said to lift the spirit and give clarity to the mind with its sound, rhythm, and lyrics in many cases, while art is a mirror to the mind- it is intentional and expressive. The effect of music and art to the senses is undoubtedly therapeutic. Many find peace listening to the music of any genre as well as motivation. Others are moved by the ingenuity of art, the techniques in the brush or pencil, as well as other forms of art. Is music an art effective for the reduction or complete elimination of mental illnesses caused by substance addiction?

Numerous researches have been carried out on the role of music and art in addiction and substance abuse treatment. The study model depicted the effect of art and music therapy on patients with various forms of substance addiction. Reports show that modern rehab facilities have adopted music and art therapy as viable treatment techniques. It was found that 36.8% of programs included art therapy for addiction, while about 14.7% offered music. 

Considerations have been particular for the implementation of alternative medical practices that are considered as non-mainstream. In place of conventional methods of addiction treatment, other milder forms such as music therapy for addiction have been imbibed alongside diverse treatment techniques such as acupuncture for drug addiction, herbal medicine, hypnosis, and others. 

Traditional substance abuse methods have often been critiqued for its lackluster and inflexibility owing to the fact that adolescents and women have unique needs, emotional and otherwise, may require a well-rounded approach that speaks to every part of their being. 

Art for Substance Addiction Therapy

The implementation of art therapy and addiction dates back to the 50s and is endorsed by the American Art Therapy Association (AATA). The essence of art as a therapy is in the assumption that a person struggling with the physical and psychological effects of an addiction may be able to express themselves better through non-verbal means of communication. The creativity of the imagination allows the patient to express their experience, emotions, intentions, stress, pains, and other feelings through the creation of art. The art for addiction is not limited to the use of paintings but also creative instruments and sculptures. 

Music Therapy for Addiction

Music therapy and addiction became popular in the 70s, and just like every other substance abuse remedy; it was extensively scrutinized to confirm its efficacy. It was found that music was a source of motivation, strength, and caused a certain level of reversal activity in the brain that relaxes the nerves. Many patients experienced great improvement in their countenance, mood, and mental state, which is owed to music.

Recovering addicts in circle during music therapy.

Individuals suffering from substance use disorder usually have some common symptoms such as anxiety disorder, anger, depression, and other issues. The effect of music therapy on these symptoms have been very promising in the past few years, and this has led to its inclusion as part of the 12-step program schedule for substance addiction treatment. 

Combining Music and Art for Substance Abuse Treatment

Many have questioned music therapy art inclusion and its ideology, with arguments pertaining to physical, tangible results that must be consistent for all cases. Motivational interviewing is a phase of treatment that involves the stimulation of positivity in patients. This is essential in order to beat the incessant change in moods and mental health. The addition of music and art in motivational enhancement therapy ensures that the mind and body remain active and in sync, improving cognitive abilities and client engagement.  

More research is required to fully understand the impact of art and music on addiction. However, it can be deduced that so far, both activities have helped immensely in alleviating the harmful effects of substance abuse.

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