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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Rock and Roll: Does It Help or Harm Recovery?

rock and roll therapy addiction treatment rehabRock and roll has been synonymous with sex and drugs for decades, two things that people recovering from substance abuse are decidedly better to avoid. However, music therapy (and particularly rock therapy) has recently emerged as a supplement to traditional addiction treatment approaches, and a growing number of experts are getting on board with the positive results. Even so, a central question still lurks in the minds of both patients and caregivers alike: can rock and roll provide an energetic and positive creative outlet, or are the life
style messages too counterproductive and damaging?

The Positive Aspects of Rock and Roll Therapy

While rock and roll has, since its very inception, come under fire for glamorizing dangerous and self-destructive lifestyles, this is not what rock and roll therapy is about. Addiction treatment programs that incorporate rock therapy don't engage with this aspect of music culture; instead, they provide participants with a healthy, creative outlet for working through stressful situations that might otherwise lead to relapse.

Participants in sober living and aftercare rock and roll therapy programs have been singing the praises of this creative approach to addiction treatment, citing a long list of benefits. First, music has been clinically proven to be one of the very best natural "medicines" for the soul; its ability to transcend everyday experience and create positive feelings in the listener or participant is second to none. Beyond the inherent healing power of music, rock and roll therapy provides an expressive outlet for working through the everyday problems and frustrations that tend to send addictive personalities spiraling into a cycle of self-medication.

While exposure to a genre of music that has historically celebrated indulgence hasn't yet caught on in the addiction treatment mainstream, a growing body of evidence seems to show that, in the right environment, there are many advantages. The key is to be engaged with this type of therapy alongside a group of people striving toward the same positive goals. Done right, rock and roll therapy can be a powerful alternative to conventional treatments—and is ideal for a young adult population that relies heavily on music as a source of creativity and empowerment.
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