What’s a good supplement to my drug addiction program? Rehab works best when it is approached with a holistic intention. Drug addiction is more than just the excessive use of a dangerous substance. Addiction takes a strong grip on your brain chemistry and your ability to make decisions. In this way, it affects every part of your life—not just the overuse of the drug. This is why people call drug addiction “The Family Disease.” Because you put your personal relationships on the back burner in order for you to feed your addiction. Creative outlets are becoming an essential part of drug rehab programs. And art therapy is one very effective piece of the rehab puzzle.
How can art therapy help me get over my addiction to drugs? You’ve heard the stereotype about how all artists are a little bit crazy. This is actually very ironic, because over the past hundred years, art therapy has emerged as an extremely successful practice for people with mental disorders and people struggling with addiction. The psychologist Adrian Hill was the one who coined the phrase “art therapy” in 1942. He discovered that having mental patients participate in art projects managed to engage their minds in a whole new way. Sometimes the symptoms of their mental disorders would even dissipate temporarily while they were making art. This was the beginning of art therapy as we know it today—and those effects are still present with mental patients as well as drug addicts.
Is art therapy really a legitimate method of treating drug addiction? If you think drug rehab is all about sitting in a brick building looking out the window and going to support group meetings with people who are a total mess, you have the wrong idea. Don’t let the stereotypes of what a drug addict looks like keep you from considering going to rehab. An addict is just someone who has been overtaken by drugs and can’t control her life anymore. And if you’re a creative, holistic person, you need to interact with that inventive, artistic part of yourself in order to regain control of your mind and body. The practice of art has a mysterious way of accessing creative parts of the brain that work better against addiction than “talking things out.” See how Banyan Treatment Center can help you reach your recovery goals through your own creativity with art therapy.