Music is used to enhance social, interpersonal, effective cognitive and behavioral functioning. Patients are encouraged to listen to music and play musical instruments. Music Exploration has proven to reduce muscle tension, decrease anxiety, increase verbalization, increase motivation and improve self-esteem and trigger reduction.
The Importance of Music in Addiction Recovery
Music therapy is frequently offered as an essential tool in holistically treating drug and alcohol addiction throughout many rehab facilities. The music itself has the power to encourage people who are dealing with addiction to self-evaluate and reflect to become more confident and self-assured overall.
All About Music Therapy
Rehab and drug addiction treatment centers maintain that when used in conjunction with counseling, music therapy can significantly help drug and alcohol abusers recognize the various reasons why they initially started using drugs and alcohol in the first place.
Music therapy group sessions may include any of the following to enhance group cooperation and boost non-verbal expression:
• record a customized CD to encourage relaxation and reduce anxiety, stress, and fear
• improvisation on a variety of instruments which works to stimulate inner creativity
• discussions about specific lyrics and how they’re connected to addiction issues
• using songwriting and composition to boost self-confidence and esteem and express emotions
• practicing meditation which will ideally teach people necessary coping skills to help manage their anxiety, anger, and fear.
Experts also claim that this particular type of therapy provides an outlet for individuals to adequately express their thoughts and feelings which can help them throughout the recovery process to achieve emotional, physical, and mental acuity.
Advantages of Using Music Exploration Therapy
Studies reveal that music therapy is successful in alleviating tension and anxiety, increasing pain reduction and relaxation, and enhancing verbalization skills in addition to encouraging an interconnection among group participants and relationships. However, it has not been proven as a direct solution for solving substance abuse issues. It does encourage people to communicate better along with promoting deeper emotional understanding among peers and families working through substance treatment.
Music therapy has successfully been used in various facilities including psychiatric hospitals, correctional facilities, schools, mental health programs, and other programs in the community for several years. It’s also a proven tool in assisting victims of a disaster in overcoming their intense trauma and pain.
Other Ways Music Therapy Helps Addicts Recover
Music therapy is a great asset and value to individuals trying to conquer their addictions. By itself, it’s not enough to help someone recover from addiction, but can work as a valuable supplement to other kinds of treatment for addiction. Some other music therapy benefits that help people recover from drug and alcohol addiction may include:
- Once someone first gets sober, they tend to experience a wide range of intense emotions. Music can help them purge many of the more damaging feelings safely and healthily.
- In the early stages of recovery, boredom is often a trigger for relapse. It’s quite easy for people to start listening to music to help them feel less bored.
- When individuals initially become sober, they often struggle with “mental fog” and unclear thinking. Music helps improve their level of concentration.
- One of the main reasons why recovering addicts tend to relapse after getting sober is because they feel helpless to deal with their stress properly. But, creating or listening to soothing music can offset a great deal of it and relieve their anxiety.
- Recovering from addiction often includes loneliness since it’s necessary for people to break away from their friends or family members that still use. Music exploration is an excellent way to fill the void of being alone.
- Meditation is a potent tool to use in the addiction recovering process. For people who aren’t quite familiar with or know how to practice meditation formally, music is a great way to introduce them to it to effectively learn how to relax both mentally and physically and to “let go.”
Not only do patients benefit from listening to music and interacting by playing an instrument, but many of them also discover a hidden talent they were unaware of that can be beneficial in some ways.
Can Music Make a Difference in Treating Addiction?
In general, the addiction treatment process can be somewhat daunting and even be overwhelming for some people. For anyone who has never experienced an actual drug or alcohol program for treating addiction, just the thought of entering into one can be very frightening and intimidating. Music therapy can serve as a key way for people to feel safe, get actively engaged, and more determined to recover. According to addiction experts, music exploration has the power to significantly decrease stress levels commonly associated with participating in a drug and alcohol addiction recovery program.