The Power of Music in Fighting Drug Dependence

by AddictionCenter |

Known as the world’s universal language, music connects people together across the entire globe, allowing them to express themselves in ways that words cannot. Plenty of people can tie their favorite tune to a special memory or time in their life. And music has a way of lifting people’s spirits, even when they’re in their darkest hour. Because of music’s remarkable healing powers, it’s no wonder it’s become an important part of addiction recovery.

The Benefits of Music Therapy in Addiction Recovery

You don’t have to have a musical background to reap the many benefits of music therapy. Music can help people who are recovering from addictions by:

Releasing pent-up emotions.

Playing music – or simply listening to it – allows patients to channel energy spent worrying about their next substance fix into a safe activity that makes them feel calm and relaxed.

Increasing motivation.

The boost of feel-good energy brought on by music can encourage people to successfully maintain their journey toward total sobriety.

Enhancing self-awareness.

Music helps you learn more about yourself – the types of beats you like or dislike, and how a song makes you feel.

Improving cognition and memory retention.

Studies have uncovered that listening to classical music for a period of time can improve your ability to focus, as well as recall facts or events.

Promoting positive social interaction.

Music is a great social bonding tool. Enjoying music with others around you can create stronger and longer-lasting friendships.

Supporting a healthy self image.

Playing an instrument can promote a sense of creativity and accomplishment within oneself.

Decreasing anxiety and depression.

When you’re feeling down, sometimes it’s good to listen to some of your favorite tunes for a few minutes. Listening to meditative or classical music can snap you back into more positive ways of thinking.

Combining Music Therapy with Traditional Treatment Approaches

Music’s adoption into the addiction treatment realm dates back to the 1970s, when it was realized that it helped patients tap into complex emotions that were difficult to express through conversation alone.

In rehab, a music therapist works in conjunction with a patient’s treatment team to develop a program based on a client’s individual course of care. The music therapy can be tailored to meet a variety of the patient’s needs, from reducing anxiety to creating a deeper sense of self-understanding.

Examples of ways that music is incorporated into treatment include:

  • Lyric analysis
  • Musical games
  • Meditation with music
  • Music improvisation
  • Songwriting

Studies have uncovered a number of ways in which music therapy impacts a patient’s recovery. For example, songwriting is shown to incite positive emotional change in rehab patients. Playing the drums has also been associated with relaxation, which has proven effective for patients who have experienced repetitive relapses into substance use.

Can Music Help Me Stay Sober?

When mixed into a comprehensive long-term recovery plan, music can help you celebrate the good times and overcome life’s challenges. Right after rehab, it’s recommended to avoid listening to music that you may associate with drinking or using drugs, as this could lead to a potential relapse.

If you’re worried that the music you listened to before rehab could remind you of old habits, why not explore new types of music? Online music players like Spotify and Apple Music can introduce you to brand new genres or artists you may have never heard of. These services also curate playlists that are tailored to a specific genre, time of the year and even your mood, making it easier than ever to find your new jam.

We can help you find treatment centers that incorporate music therapy into your recovery plan. Call us now to get help finding a rehab that fits exactly what you’re looking for.

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