Expressive Art Therapy for the Street Drug Addict

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Treatment approaches for street drug addiction are typically founded on common core principles and schools of thought, though methods and applications may vary among individuals.

Many different components are involved in the process of recovery from street drugs, as different aspects of a person must be addressed, including their physical health, mental wellness, and more.

Initial Phases

The initial phases of recovery often include a physical intervention from the drug itself. A person addicted to street drugs may experience a withdrawal phase as the substance leaves their system. For many individuals who are in treatment for street drug addiction, this initial phase is usually referred to as detoxification.

Once a person is no longer under the influence of a particular substance, they can begin to address and process any underlying issues that may have been related to the development of their addiction to street drugs. This phase of recovery can be tailored to meet an individual’s unique needs for their own treatment.

Determining the Right Treatment for Each Individual

Every person has a unique way of processing thoughts and emotions. Some people may find it easier to speak with and open up to a counselor. Others may need more indirect ways of working through their experiences.

Recovering through a treatment program for street drug addiction may allow various opportunities for finding healing and recovery. One such form of therapy that may be offered includes expressive art therapy. Types of therapy that may fall under this umbrella of treatment includes:

How Art Therapy Works

bafb4b18-8226-45b5-b066-ddee3dde8e98Expressive art therapy emphasizes the process of creation through various venues rather than focusing on the final product. Engaging the body and mind in creative processes can be therapeutic to a person in recovery in multiple ways, including physical, emotional and mental health.

A person who may have difficulty processing what they are experiencing during addiction recovery may better connect through the processes of expressive art and creation. If you or a loved one is undergoing treatment for an addiction to street drugs, consider discussing with your treatment team about the possibility of integrating expressive art therapy in your recovery journey.

Community Discussion – Share your thought here!

How have the expressive arts been a helpful form of therapy for you as a recovering drug addiction? What forms of expressive art have you utilized in your recovery journey?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on July 17th, 2015
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