A Versus A: When Art Combats Addiction

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To combat addiction is a highly personal battle. It is a war that starts within oneself. However, like any other battle, it has various challenges and hurdles to win. With proper guidance and the right motivation, the likelihood of succeeding is higher. One of the best forms of treatment for addiction is art therapy. It activates the person’s creative mind and imaginative talents. 

Why Art?

Helping people to combat drug or alcohol addiction is a very challenging task. The initial cleanse is the most taxing of all because there are substances that make an individual physically dependent. This dependence creates physiological symptoms when withdrawn from the system. The symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, headache, and sometimes hallucinations. The withdrawal process of treatment exhibits a real craving that makes the procedure more difficult. 

When the initial cleanse is over, the emotional and mental state of the person under addiction treatment should be addressed. These aspects are actually more crucial than dealing with the physical element. This is where art therapy comes in.

Art therapy is an integrated treatment, which started in about the 1940s. Licensed medical professionals used art therapy as an adjunct treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. It needs both fundamental knowledge and skill of the application of art techniques and proper background of psychological studies, particularly on human behavior. Art therapy, mainly to help in combating addiction, uses the traditional approach, such as psychoanalysis and counseling. The artist creates the artwork, then discusses its meaning with the therapist.

How Does Art Therapy Work?

The primary aim of art therapy is to help the person in recovery be comfortable in expressing what he or she feels without any limitations. For those individuals who use this therapy, they share that they can freely show their experiences through a sketch, a painting, a doodle, or even through other forms of art like a song or dance. Art therapy is a preferred treatment as it removes the awkward feeling like a one-on-one discussion with a counselor in a room.

Art therapy is a two-part process. It initially creates a comfortable, soothing mood to the person as he thinks and imagines the art he wants to create. In this way, art introduces a non-threatening structure to the individual, which stimulates the feeling of freedom and individualism. Secondly, as the person learns the art techniques of drawing, coloring, and painting, he begins to appreciate the world around him. He notices the play of light, shadows, and contrasts, which gives a sense of order and peace. 

Art as a Solution to Addiction

Art allows a chance for self-expression and understanding. It is one of the most powerful forms of non-verbal communication. According to experts at a drug and alcohol rehab center in Florida, when a recovering addict draws his emotions and experiences, it allows him to form a structure of what affects his life. Then, the discussion with the therapist or with an art group lets him validate and make sense of what he feels. 

Art therapy allows a more natural way to express emotions and connections. It increases focus, enhances creativity, and opens opportunities for recovering addicts for faster recovery. If you are interested in trying art therapy or in discovering other forms of treatment on addiction recovery, make sure to seek advice and consultation from licensed professionals and experts. They will be able to help you with what kind of treatment will work best to help you combat addiction and recover faster.

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