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Music Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Music has a powerful effect on a person and on the brain. It has been scientifically proven to help in many aspects of the brain. For example, research shows that music can help provide stress relief, reduce pain, improve memory, and help in brain injuries. According to scientists, music stimulates more parts of the brain than any other human function. Have you ever heard a song come on the radio and had a rush of pleasure? This pleasure that music produces is quite similar to the euphoria that a person experiences from a drug. Music increases levels of dopamine in the brain. A neurotransmitter responsible for pleasure and making you “feel good”. Many people rely on music daily to get them through their day. It is an incredible medium that promotes relaxation, inspiration, and it can bring back good memories. In addition, music is now being used to help people’s health and for healing. It has many great benefits and is a useful therapy for a person’s mental and physical well-being.

What is Music Therapy?

Music therapy is a treatment that involves using music to help a person with their physical, mental, emotional, and cognitive issues. With music therapy,y a person may listen to, sing, dance, move around or even create their own music.  Research shows that music therapy is very effective for increasing motivation and engagement in treatment. It’s also helpful in providing emotional support and helps people to freely express their feelings easier. Thus, music therapy is a great addition to helping those in treatment for addiction.

How Does Music Therapy Work?

Music therapy in addiction treatment works by stimulating dopamine. In drug addiction, most substances affect the dopamine neurotransmitter, which produces the intense euphoria and pleasure a person feels. Unfortunately, this is also what makes an individual continue using drugs. However, studies show that dopamine is naturally awakened by music. Therefore, music helps to replace the drugs and provide healing for those with substance use disorders. 

The Benefits of Music Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Music has been used for hundreds of years to help with healing. It has pain-relieving properties and helps to reduce stress and anxiety. The National Institute of Health “Effects of music therapy and music-based interventions in the treatment of substance use disorders: A systematic review” says,

How can MT/ MBI help patients with SUD? Compared to commonly used verbal, psychological therapies, MT and MBI provide different opportunities for self-expression, cooperative group activity, imagination, and synchronized sensorimotor experience. In addition to that, there is evidence of the beneficial impact of MT/ MBI on mood, stress, self-esteem, motivation, emotional expression, and social cohesion. Furthermore, MT/ MBIs appear to address general challenges of SUD treatment: For instance, in a study with patients with SUD and comorbid severe mental illnesses, MT appreciation was associated with benefits in global functioning and motivation. For patients with non-organic mental disorders and low treatment motivation, positive effects of an individual three month MT program on negative symptoms, global functioning, clinical global impressions, social avoidance, and vitality were reported. Furthermore, for subgroups of addicted patients with special needs (e.g., women and adolescents), MT/ MBI led to improvements in anxiety and internal locus of control. (NIH)

Some of The Other Benefits of Music Therapy

Music in substance abuse treatment has many benefits. Of course, music therapy alone isn’t enough to treat addiction; however, it can be a great supplement in a treatment program. Some of the other benefits of music therapy can include:

  • Relief of depression and anxiety
  • Improved mood
  • Stress reduction and relaxation 
  • Promotes optimism
  • Helps with boredom and restlessness 
  • Helps with communication in trauma patients
  • Helps promote self-awareness and self-expression 
  • Promotes better sleep habits
  • Helps to reduce the pain and muscle aches that come with withdrawal 
  • Helps with low self-esteem and loneliness 
  • Boost the immune system 
  • Encourages meditation 

Using music therapy in an addiction treatment program can be a powerful tool to help a person recovering from substance abuse. The healing properties it has can make a huge difference in the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of anyone in recovery and help them achieve long-term sobriety. 

Personalized Treatment Approach at Evoke Wellness at Cohasset

Evoke Wellness at Cohasset provides a comprehensive and personalized treatment approach for anyone struggling with substance abuse. Addiction treatment isn’t one-size-fits-all, so our evidence-based and solution-focused addiction treatment will cater to each client’s individual needs. Our professional and experienced staff understands how difficult drug addiction can be, so we treat everyone with compassion and understanding. Are you ready to choose recovery over substance abuse? Give us a call today. Our staff is available around the clock to assist you.