What Is the Role of Music Therapy in Addiction Treatment?

Suffering through addiction is more difficult than most people understand. A person may have cravings for the rest of their life that they must work to subdue. While therapy and emotional support is important, you also want to use any amount of additional help you can get. In many cases, treatment centers are using music as a way to contribute to certain patient’s treatment. Here are just some of the reasons that people are using music therapy in addiction treatment.

1. Offers a Way of Expression

Many times, people with addiction problems have a hard time communicating their emotional problems that caused the addiction to others. Sometimes, other people have found the perfect way to say something that they couldn’t find the words to say, whether the emotion they want to express is grief, shame, anger, or sadness. This generally comes from their favorite music. Whether it’s the actual words or the emotion that comes from the song, it can help others tell people what they are feeling.

If someone takes the time to learn an instrument, this gives them the unique ability to tell their individual story in a way that makes them feel comfortable. For many people, it’s easier to put their emotions into a song.

2. Connection with Others

Music has the unique ability to bring people together without forcing them to talk to each other; the music does the talking. When talking about your favorite music, you may connect with someone unexpected. This gives an addict the opportunity to develop relationships with counselors and other people who suffer from addiction who may become a strong support system for them down the road.

3. Distraction

A lot of times, people turn to drugs and alcohol when they need to escape from things in their life. Many of us need this mini vacation. While it may not offer the same relief of a substance, it does allow the listener to get away from their problems for a short amount of time. A person can put on their favorite music and relax when they are feeling stressed instead of turning to their drug of choice.
If the patient is learning an instrument, it gives them something to focus on instead of their addiction. It takes a long time for someone to get good at an instrument. While they are practicing, they aren’t able to be intoxicated.

4. Emotional Relief

Music has been shown to be very helpful to people who have emotional problems. The music acts as a natural anti-depressant or stress reliever. There’s something about the way music hits the enjoyment centers of the brain that make people feel better. It doesn’t matter whether the music is calming or energetic, any type of music can be effective. It can also offer a substantial amount of emotional relief to the people around them, too.

5. Provides Motivation

There are a number of musical artists who have suffered through addiction themselves. Many of them had to fight their addiction to stay alive and create the music that we enjoy today. Sometimes, artists go through their addiction struggle in their music. In many ways, the music can be used to motivate the listener to make it through their own addiction struggle. Even musical artists who haven’t struggled with addiction can make motivational music that can apply to the situation.

6. Good, Clean Fun

People who fight addiction don’t have to live the rest of their sober life under a rock. In fact, it’s important for them to get out into the world and enjoy things that make them happy. Music is something that past addicts can enjoy while sober. Many people associate the music scene with a lot of drugs, but it’s all about personal choice. A person is given the opportunity to enjoy the music with people who support their journey to sobriety.

Fighting addiction is tough. It’s best to use every resource available to make the patient come out with as many tools to fight as possible. While it should not be a replacement for other treatment, adding music to addiction treatment is a great way to help people on a much deeper level, increasing their chances of a productive and happy life. Call one of our counselors today at 844-639-8371.

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