One of the more recent treatment methods in battling drug or alcohol addiction is art therapy. Increasingly used more and more in different types of treatment centers, from Residential Treatment Centers to Holistic Healing Treatment Centers, art therapy is proving to be a beneficial part of the treatment plan.

One of the first questions people ask is, “What exactly is art therapy?” Art therapy is exactly what it sounds like – using the arts, such as painting, drawing, creating music, writing poetry, and writing or performing in plays to help heal both the mind and body and free them from the addictions that the patient is currently dealing with.

Having got its start in physical therapy for those who had suffered some type of physical or mental trauma, therapists soon saw the healing properties of letting the victim create through the various arts, giving them an outlet for their ideas and feelings. Having the person look inside themselves and contemplate the nature and causes of their addiction can help them in various ways, such as realizing what their addiction stems from, and more importantly, gives them a healthier outlet for dealing with these issues.

Various art therapies can also be a very effective stress reliever. Many times people turn to drugs or alcohol with the intent of “taking the edge off” for an hour or two. Then an hour becomes a day, a day becomes a week, and the next thing they know they’re facing a full-blown addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Art therapies are also increasingly seen as an effective type of group therapy. Traditional group therapy involves having the participants sit in a circle and share their feelings and ideas, whereas art therapy can let the participants communicate in ways that don’t always require verbal interaction, which can oftentimes be nearly impossible for someone who is battling an addiction.

They are also commonly used in families to help show or bring to light issues within the family that are causing or perpetuating an addiction that normally wouldn’t be discussed in a family setting. Art therapies are generally considered safe and can be a good way to build trust, setting up the necessary support system that an addict will need throughout their addiction treatment.

It is nice to see that in a time when more and more people are fighting addictions to drugs or alcohol, there are always new type of therapies evolving into ways to help battle the problems. Art therapy is just one of the many ways to battle an addiction and get back on track to a healthy, normal life.

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