Drug addiction recovery is a complicated process that involves several treatments that benefit patients in different ways. The ultimate purpose of the process is to ensure optimal recovery and long-term sobriety. Professionals aim to provide their residents with several opportunities to let out their emotional buildups, and express their thoughts through different means and therapies.

The purpose of each therapy is to encourage you towards developing a strong coping mechanism. The pain and struggle that is accompanied with drug addiction can be overwhelming. The subsequent treatment can be straining as well. In such a circumstance, using creative techniques to combat drug addiction can be very relaxing. This makes art therapy one of the most acclaimed drug addiction treatment methods.

Using art for healing is not a new concept. It has been used by the medical professionals and counselors for ages. However, it has only been recently integrated into drug rehab programs. Art therapy in drug rehab has given recovering addicts a simple yet effective way of expressing their feelings, and providing insight into their behaviors and emotions.

What is Art Therapy?

art therapyArt therapy is a form of experiential therapy which is designed to address the emotional needs of individuals through creative activities. It is not mandatory that you possess artistic skills and talent, or have a history of art. You can become part of this therapy if you are open to new experiences. Art therapy can be highly relaxing and enjoyable, allowing you to alleviate the stress and anxiety that accompanies the drug recovery process.

Rehab is a complex process during which patients must undergo detox sessions and group counseling. It demands you voice your inner feelings and face your issues with addiction head-on. Art therapy, amidst your treatment, can serve as an effective way to relieve any strain and suffering.

The American Art Therapy Association describes art therapy as a method of expression that helps an individual resolve a number of problems. This includes resolving emotional conflicts, promoting self-esteem, encouraging self-awareness, and uplifting social skills.

The Aim of Art Therapy

Art therapy is a complementary technique that has been integrated into the drug addiction recovery process only recently. The primary purpose of this therapy is to encourage healthy functioning of patients on multiple levels. It is useful in improving your social, emotional and mental functioning, offering a simple yet effective outlet to express inner thoughts and struggles.

There are certain factors that play a very strong role in driving you towards detrimental habits such as drug and alcohol addiction. These factors may be childhood trauma, the memory of a deceased beloved, an unsuccessful relationship, or loss in professional or personal life.

Art therapy, during your substance abuse recovery, can play a rather positive role in exploring yourself and visualizing your thoughts. It can easily become an effective coping strategy that helps you deal with the challenges incurred during recovery. Here are some benefits that art therapy offers during the recovery process:

Visual Communication

Rehab is not an easy journey. It is challenging, stressful and takes a lot of courage to complete. The beginning can be especially difficult. With that being said, the success rate of your recovery journey is immensely dependent on the start that you make. If you are successful in getting past the initial stages, it is likely you will be able to go through the rest of the process smoothly.

The biggest challenge that residents often face is communicating with the rehab staff. It may be due to rehab being a new place and experience, or it could be a matter of low self-esteem, which is a significant consequence of addiction.

Art therapy can serve as an effective alternative. It provides you with a non-verbal method of communication. You may not be comfortable with sharing personal details right away, and art therapy can give you the voice you need.

Helps You Rediscover Yourself

Using art therapy as a means to get through the difficult experiences of overcoming addiction can turn into an effective method of self discovery. When you have a long history of substance addiction behind you, it is likely that you have lost a substantial amount of your actual self in the process.

Illicit substances and compulsive behaviors have the ability to fog up your mind and lead you towards forgetting everything except the substance itself. When you are on the road towards a new and better life, art therapy can help in re-exploring self-worth.

This technique can play an important role in making breakthroughs and completing the rehab process with better health, a clearer perspective of life, and a newly discovered self-worth.

Heals You Emotionally

Art therapy may seem like a mindless activity that involves paints, sketching and sculpting. What most people fail to understand is that art involves so much more than this. There are exercises in art that help you address your emotional needs. Affirmation cards, for instance, can serve as a positive reinforcement in your recovery process.

Utilized as a tool of Cognitive Behavior Therapy, affirmation cards can help you replace your negative emotions with the positive ones. It can be a good emotional exercise that helps you step out of a negative mindset.

Plays a Positive Role in Relapse Prevention

Relapse prevention is the ultimate goal of a drug rehab program. Your sobriety is largely dependent on how well you are able to resist triggers on daily basis and make it through challenging situations. Art therapy offers a creative way of expression that can help you resist triggers effectively and maintain sobriety.

Know More about Art Therapy

Your experiences, emotions, and issues can be effectively channeled through art therapy. It creates a safe place where you can communicate your feelings without being obligated to voice them out loud. Art therapy can serve as a refreshing outlet for patients during the hardships of rehab.

Scottsdale Recovery Center® offers art therapy in our integrated drug addiction treatment program. We believe in providing our clients with all possible opportunities and techniques to make a complete and long-term recovery.

Staffed with trained professionals, you can visit our facility or contact us to learn more about how we can help you battle against your drug addiction. Call us at 1.602.346.9142 (1.888.663.7874) and make the first step towards a brighter and healthier life.


Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center® holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.