Role of art therapy in addiction treatment

Role of art therapy in addiction treatment

Millions of people across the globe succumb to an addiction to illicit substances or to a relapse because they fail to exercise self-control, which is a must for leading a sober life. However, multiple strategies can be adopted to help people struggling with an addiction to break-free from the shackles of substance use disorder and enjoy a sober life. One of these strategies is art therapy, which is used as a therapeutic intervention for people struggling with an addiction. However, it is not used as a stand-alone therapy but always as a part of a multipronged approach.

Art therapy has been found to help a person connect with his/her spiritual self and overcome the addiction-seeking behavior. Some of the long-term benefits of art therapy are discussed here:

Breaking the ice

Once enrolled for a treatment, a person struggling with an addiction has to face the challenge of opening up and interacting with different kind of people like doctors, nurses, other inmates of the rehab, etc. This can put pressure on a person who is already weighed down by an addiction and its ramifications. In such a situation, art can be used as a medium to give vent to pent-up emotions. It can help a person unlock the stressed out mind and body and release emotional turmoil via art.

Helps improve self-esteem and attitude

Low self-esteem is one of the high-risk factors for addiction and a relapse. Art therapy involves creating and completing various pieces of art, therefore, once a task is done, it can motivate a person and help boost his or her self-esteem.

Emotional healing

An art therapy will allow a person conjure up some thoughts on a blank canvas and over a period, it can help ease out emotional turbulence. The counselors use the piece of art to comprehend and guide people.

Discovering the “self”

For some people, art therapy can be a serendipity. After being introduced to this therapy, they might start improvising in the field and one day, might discover that art is their calling.

Preventing relapse for good

One of the benefits of art therapy is that it can act as a great coping mechanism during those dark phases when one might stare at a trigger or a flashback. One can seek immediate distraction by indulging in art therapy and this can provide a great relief. The art therapy exercises can be used life-long to maintain sobriety.

Road to recovery

The purpose of an addiction treatment program is to help a person address the problem and then seek support for the actual traits or reasons that pushed him/her toward alcohol or substance abuse. Art therapy can help in meeting this requirement and in addition, empowers a person with a new life skill, which can change the course of life for some and for others, can act as a strong relapse prevention tool. In addition to art therapy, many rehabs also offer additional therapies like music therapy, equine therapy, yoga and recreational therapy. Collectively, these therapies are known as experiential therapies, which help people become aware of themselves and understand their behaviors better.

If you know someone suffering from a drug addiction and need immediate help, contact the California Drug Addiction Helpline. Our representatives can guide you to the finest addiction treatment centers in California. Call us at our 24/7 helpline 855-980-1946 or chat online with our experts to know more about the state-of-the-art drug rehab centers in California.

Also read:

National Recovery Month: Celebrities, drug addiction and rehab

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