It’s only relatively recently that we’ve begun to understand the complexities of addiction. Before we had the wealth of research at our disposal, the consensus was that addiction was a moral affliction and a sign of poor character. People who exhibited problematic substance abuse problems were assumed to be bad people, willfully lacking in self-control. As a result, most people who suffered from addiction were imprisoned in insane asylums or prisons. The idea was that imprisonment would force them into sobriety while the fear of further incarceration would discourage them from relapsing and abusing any other mind-altering substances. However, we quickly observed that people who were imprisoned for substance abuse problems were exhibiting behaviors that defied their own logic and, thusly, quickly returned to their irrational substance abuse after their release from imprisonment.
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More to the Disease of Addiction
Clearly, there was more to the disease of addiction than what meets the eye. Today, we know that addiction is a chronic, progressive, relapsing disease of the brain. It causes altered structure and functioning in the brain, causing people to behave in ways that were extremely self-destructive. In fact, this disease causes people to behave in ways that are extremely self-destructive. This seems to be a common thread among all people who suffer from addiction to alcohol and/or drugs.
Fortunately, there are a number of resources available to those who have developed addictions to mind-altering, chemical substances. For instance, addiction treatment programs at the numerous alcohol and drug rehabs that are available offer psychotherapy and counseling, group therapy, twelve-step courses, interpersonal process groups, and many other offerings. These are things that help alcoholics and drug addicts get sober. But there are a number of other resources available that can be used to help people to stay sober after they get out of rehab. Support groups are great for this since having a group of like-minded people on which to depend has shown to be instrumental to recovery. It’s also become popular to sustain one’s recovery using a variety of creative outlets, which is what we will be discussing below.
Music and Addiction
Just about everyone enjoys music at some level. Whether it’s playing music with instruments, using one’s voice to sing music, or simply listening to music, we form strong emotional bonds with the music to which we listen. In fact, music therapy is a form of rehabilitative treatment that’s being offered at more and more alcohol and drug treatment facilities. Even outside of rehab, music can be a great way to reinforce your newfound sobriety.
When we listen to music, it evokes some very powerful emotions. It can be helpful with venting some very intense emotions that are at the core of one’s addiction. The feeling can be quite liberating, quelling feelings of guilt and shame, making you feel better about your new sobriety. In effect, music in recovery is a great way to channel your emotions in a very constructive way as well as to liberate emotions by listening to, playing, or singing music. Additionally, there’s evidence to suggest that music actually has a way of improving a person’s mood through the release of endorphins and serotonin that’s triggered when a person listens to music. Therefore, music can be especially helpful in terms of emotional state as well as in the liberation of thoughts and feelings.
Art and Recovery
In addition to music, art is another popular tool that’s being used in many recovery programs. Similar to how music can evoke an emotional response in listeners, creating art can have a similar effect. But the most well-known use of art as part of recovery is creating art as a means of expressing thoughts or feelings that have been repressed or that a person isn’t comfortable with speaking openly about.
There are many types of art that are commonly used in rehabs and in addiction recovery in general. One of the most popular and accessible is collaging, which refers to taking bits and pieces of paper and designs or pictures from other sources and compiling them into a single piece of art using glue. There’s also drawing, which is easier in that it doesn’t require much equipment; you only need paper and a writing utensil. Sculpting has also become extremely popular and can even become a hobby for people as they progress into more advanced stages of recovery. Some people find reading or writing poetry to be mentally and emotionally soothing as well.
Writing and Recovery
If you’re looking for a creative outlet that can be used to fortify your recovery, you might consider writing, which is both a great outlet and has been called great therapy. There are many different types of writing, too. One could choose journaling or blogging, which is a very accessible form of writing that’s great for purging one’s emotions. There doesn’t need to be a specific topic, but rather it can essentially be whatever that’s on one’s mind. Alternately, nonfiction is an option wherein one can write about real, factual topics in an informative or interpretive way. There’s less guesswork involved with nonfiction writing.
Then there’s the entire topic of fictional writing, which includes short stories, novels, and the various genres of fiction therein. A person can choose whatever genre that he or she prefers, whether it’s mystery or fantasy or historical fiction or otherwise. Or there’s poetry, plays, screenplays, and other more structured options. When it comes to writing as part of one’s recovery, the sky’s the limit. It might be a good idea to incorporate addiction recovery in some way to make it relevant.
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FindAddictionRehabs.com Can Help You Beat Alcohol and Drug Addiction
There’s no right or wrong way to overcome an addiction. If you or someone you love would like to discuss the various treatment options that are available, call FindAddictionRehabs.com toll-free at 877-723-7117. Whether it’s day or night, we’re always available to help you or your loved one begin the journey back to health and happiness. Don’t wait another day to begin your healing journey.