June 18, 2015 (Saint Petersburg, Fla.) — Music therapy is defined to be: “The clinical and evidence-based use of music to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship.”Music is used to help manage physical, emotional, or psychological issues. With music a person suffering from an addiction can find peace and serenity.
The Pros And Cons
Studies on addiction and music have shown there are benefits and downsides for an addict listening to music. Music may generate cravings within the addict, because of the association with their previous substance use. However, many addicts are likely to say that music is a quintessential part of their life in recovery.
Benefits of Music Therapy
There are a number of purported benefits for this type of therapy including:
- It can and does help individuals reduce stress. Appropriate music will generate a state of relaxation.
- Addicts who are newcomers that may be dealing with depression can benefit from a lessening of their symptoms.
- Music can be utilized as a form of meditation. Some people may use music as a way to create a state of solitude and peace. Steady rhythms may allow the person to bring their mind into a consistent state of relaxation.
- It can promote an positive state of being. This affect may continue on past the listening session.
- It may reduce the feelings of loneliness when appropriate selections are made by the listener.
- May allow the listener to further progress along their spiritual path. There are some people who use music as a way to form spiritual enlightenment.
- It may help provide an emotional release from new found feelings.
- It can help people overcome trials and tribulations in addiction this can be a useful tool in recovery.
Music’s Therapeutic Value With Addiction
Music as a therapeutic technique can be a wonderful tool while battling an addiction. It is unlikely to be end all of tools during the road of recovery from substance abuse. Yet it can be a powerful enhancement while using other types of addiction treatment. The benefits of music as a therapy for people in recovery can be any of the following:
- When addicts first try to get clean, emotions come roaring in. Creating or listening to music can help the addict learn to regress from their more destructive emotions.
- Relapse is common among addicts and can happen when an addict is unable to manage their feelings. Producing or enjoying music can be a wonderful way to experience these new feelings.
- Boredom is a major trigger for those in early recovery. Music can relieve their sense of boredom.
- When people first get clean they may experience a loneliness and depression from the sudden change of life.
- Losing friends and making hard choices for the benefit of the addicts future can leave them feeling awkward and uncomfortable. Music has always been a way that unity and fellowship can be brought among a group of people.
- Music therapy can be all about enjoyment and so should be recovery from an addiction.
- Meditation is a widely accepted and important part for some people in recovery. Music can help a newcomer get excited about meditating. Most people have trouble finding the patience for such things in early recovery.
- When people first become sober they can struggle with mental fuzziness. Music may help to improve their concentration levels.
- If people are dealing with symptoms of depression they may find that listening to music can help with this.
Negative impacts of music
If the individual spends a great deal of time listening to those tracks that they associate with drinking or using drugs it could increase the risk of relapse. This is because it will trigger memories of the times when the individual felt that their substance abuse was pleasurable – this is referred to as romancing the drink. It is possible to associate fresh memories with old music favorites, but this is probably best left until people are more secure in their sobriety.