Music is used to enhance social, interpersonal, effective cognitive and behavioral functioning. Patients are encouraged to listen to music and/or 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 important tool in treating drug and alcohol addiction in a holistic manner throughout many rehab facilities. Music itself has the power to encourage people who are dealing with addiction to self evaluate and reflect in order 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 greatly help drug and alcohol abusers clearly recognize the various reasons why they initially started using drugs and alcohol in the first place. Experts also claim that this special type of therapy provides an outlet for individuals to fully express their thoughts and feelings which can help them throughout the recovery process to achieve emotional, physical, and mental acuity.
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 certain lyrics and how they’re connected to addiction issues
• using song writing 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.
Advantages of Using Music 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 actually 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 disaster overcome 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 emotions in a safe and healthy manner.
- In the early stages of recovery, boredom is often a trigger for relapse. It’s generally 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 properly deal with their stress. 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 is a good way to fill the void of being alone.
- Meditation is a very powerful tool to use in the addiction recovering process. For people who aren’t quite familiar with or know how to formally practice meditation, music is a great way to introduce them to it in order 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, many of them discover a hidden talent they were unaware of that can be beneficial in a number of ways.
Can Music Actually Make a Difference in Treating Addiction?
In general, the addiction treatment process can be somewhat daunting and even 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 has the power to significantly decrease stress levels commonly associated with participating in a drug and alcohol addiction recovery program.