When it comes to addiction, there’s very little good news to read about. The stories are rampant about lives cut short and people suffering needlessly from drugs that often innocently stumbled across and experimented with. Even with all the bad news, there’s another side of addiction that often gets pushed out of the news. The stories of recovery are a refreshing change from the darkness of addiction and these days, treatment centers are helping recovering addicts get creative with recovery. These approaches bring a bright side to recovery and help addicts explore their natural talents and strengths.
Creative therapies are among the brightest spots for hopeful recovering addicts. They are a stark contrast to talk therapies that explore mostly the past and leave addicts faced with the painful realities of their lives. While these approaches can be valuable, professionals are discovering the benefits of tempering tough self-exploration techniques with creative therapies such as art or music therapy. These therapies give addicts a rare break from the self-exploration and allow them to explore a part of themselves that is more abstract and fun.
Creative arts therapy
Creative arts therapy has been used to help patients recover from a number of different diseases. It is useful not just as a treatment approach for addiction but for all sorts of other ailments that keep people from being their happiest and exploring themselves. It’s a chance to relax and be free, explore creative talents that might be undiscovered, or simply to have a great time with peers in recovery. Addiction therapy for drug & alcohol abuse in Florida usually includes a healthy dose of art therapy to encourage addicts to get in touch with their inner spirits and explore parts of themselves that might have been lost to their disease. While most addicts in early recovery will be too sick and depressed to undertake this form of therapy, mid-stages of treatment are the perfect time to pick up a creative art form and explore it with peers in recovery.
The benefits of art therapy are manifold. First of all, art in itself inspires positive and creative thinking that stimulates parts of the brain that might have been understimulated in addiction. Addicts often lose the ability to do almost anything without the use of drugs. The first exposure to something pleasant, like art, gives addicts the chance to have fun and re-open those parts of themselves that have long since been closed off or damaged by their disease.
As the addict does more art therapy, they share their inspirations and tell others where their creations come from. It’s an interesting glimpse into the past of the addict and gives them an opportunity to take a very painful past experience and turn it into something interesting and fun. Many times patients will do art together and talk while they create. This playful and relaxed environment shows addicts that there are good things in this world that can be explored and shared. It doesn’t have to be all tears and grief for the rest of life, but they can slowly find themselves and their talents as they go along. Recovery is a life long process and exposure to art can only strengthen the chances of remaining sober for addicts who come to enjoy the art.
Lastly, some artists even find a true talent in their art. They may never have known that they could draw or write well. When they discover this talent, it’s an opportunity to perhaps use it in the future as a paid profession. Even though this rarely happens, it’s not impossible that an addict who never even tried to do any art will find that they’re very good at it and can turn it into something positive for them in the future.
Other Creative Endeavors
Art therapy is only one of the creative therapies out there. As time goes by, more rehabs are using this form of therapy as an added tool in the fight against addiction. The best way for rehabs to gauge the success of these programs is to ask the patients themselves. Overwhelmingly, the reaction has been positive. Addicts, like any other people in the world, enjoy trying new things. Creative approaches to recovery are always worth trying, especially since the past prognosis of addiction has been so grim. New approaches are taking hold and giving more people than ever before hope that addiction can be defeated once and for all.