Music Therapy for Substance Abuse

What is Music Therapy for Addiction?

Music is a powerful tool that can have many effects on a person’s life. It is an important element of many people’s daily lives. Whether for distraction, relaxation, or atmosphere, music comes in many forms and styles. Certain songs can have a deep and meaningful impact, especially during hard times. Music can help motivate a person during these struggles and through addiction treatment.

While music may not be the first thing a person thinks of for therapy, it can have great effects on a person’s emotions. Songs can increase a person’s energy, make them happy, or make them sad. This can be especially useful when used with other forms of therapy. Music therapy for addiction can be used to heal and motivate a person to keep pushing forward. BRC Recovery in Austin aims to target the root of addiction through flexible but specific treatment.

Music can be used by professionals as a form of therapy. When used correctly and strategically, music therapy can be used as a complementary form of treatment. Music therapy is treated just like any other form of therapy in the sense that there are goals and an end purpose. Professional guidance can use music as an effective form of therapy to help a person’s mood, thoughts, and other elements. While there are many therapeutic effects of music therapy, it may not be the best choice for more severe cases of addiction.

How Music is Used for Therapy Purposes

Music therapy for addiction works similarly to other types of therapy in the sense that recovery is the main goal. Music can be used strategically to help a person struggling with drug use look deep within themselves. This can affect a person’s mood state and personal motivations as well.

This type of therapy usually includes a set of goals and techniques in which professional music therapists are trained. While a person struggling with addiction can use music on their own, it won’t be as effective as relying on a trained professional. Music therapy requires more than just listening to a song or album when a person is feeling down. Formal therapy options are typically structured and require help from a professional therapist; music therapy is no different.

Music Therapy for Addiction - What to Expect

One of the great benefits of music therapy is that it can be used in many different settings and treatment types. Whether through an outpatient program, inpatient program, an individual, or group setting, music therapy can be used. Music therapy can be used in combination with other addiction treatment methods and can elevate a person’s mood and motivation. Music has the power to relax a person, keep them focused, and help them adjust to life’s stresses.

The first few days or weeks of substance abuse treatment can sometimes be overwhelming. However, with the help of music therapy and professional treatment, a person can adjust easier. During music therapy, a therapist typically helps the person make a set of specific and achievable goals to strive for. Music can be used to alleviate a person’s stress and can also be a great distraction from drug cravings. All in all, music therapy can be seen as a way to enhance the effects of main treatment programs, not to replace them.

The music therapist works with the person to create a therapeutic approach with music. This is done with the help of other treatment teams to match a person’s preferences and needs. There are several different goals that may be set during music therapy, these include:

  • Improving mental and physical health
  • Reducing or relieving stress
  • Help improve communication skills
  • Help elevate mood and motivation
  • Enhance a person’s social circle/strategy by getting to know others with the same taste in music
  • Pinpointing cognitive functions like memory or focus

Effects of Music During Treatment

It is worth noting that the person does not have to have any training or specific knowledge of music to use it for therapy. The person should simply have an effect from music, which can help them overcome certain stresses and thoughts. This is why music therapy is accessible and usable in a broad variety of drug addiction/rehab cases. Music therapy for addiction uses different types of music to help achieve a certain feeling.

A professional therapist can use music to help a person in multiple ways. Music therapy has been shown to:

  • Help alleviate some of the emotions that come with stressful situations
  • Address issues of regret regarding the decision to start using drugs/alcohol in the past (or other situations)
  • Help address the symptoms of anxiety, depression, regret, and anger
  • Assist people with learning coping strategies to deal with future stresses and issues
  • Motivate and improve a person’s self-esteem
  • Helps a person stay focused and relaxed for the rest of the treatment
  • Relieve boredom, which can be a trigger that leads to relapse

Benefits of Music Therapy

While music therapy may not work as a primary source of treatment, there are many benefits of music therapy. Music therapy for substance abuse can be used with other primary forms of treatment and can increase their effects. Some of the benefits of music therapy vary and can include the following:

  • Music therapy can be great to mitigate some of the common triggers, which include boredom, stress, self-esteem, and loneliness among others.
  • Music therapy can help a person during the early stages of recovery. Oftentimes, the early stages of recovery can be overwhelming and stressful. Music therapy has been shown to help a person relax and become less overwhelmed
  • Music therapy can address certain negative emotions in a positive way, such as depression and anxiety. It can also help a person think more clearly about these emotions.
  • Certain people struggling with drug addiction may feel like they can’t find pleasure in anything without substances/drugs. Music therapy can help them understand that this is not the case.
  • Music therapy can be very beneficial when used with other forms of primary treatment. Through this effort, a person can be involved in socializing and meeting others in the same community. Music therapy can be a stepping stone towards a better and more fulfilling life.

Music Therapy May Not Be for Everyone

As beneficial as music therapy may be, there are a few points that should be considered, these include the following considerations:

  • If music therapy ends up creating more aggressive and negative emotional states, it is best to stop using this form of intervention.
  • Certain songs/genres may elicit a negative response in regards to past drug use. In these cases, it is important to be careful with the music that is picked to avoid a possible relapse down the line.
  • Music therapy is just a secondary/complementary form of treatment and isn’t effective enough on its own.
  • Music therapy must be utilized by a professional/trained music therapist.

These points should be considered when you or a loved one is planning on using this type of therapy. Like all addiction treatment programs, it is best to consult with a professional to see what will work best. With that being said, there are many therapeutic effects of music that can help a person cope with stress and negative mindsets.

Addiction Treatment Programs

Since music therapy is a complementary form of treatment, it’s important to first look into common addiction programs. At BRC Recovery, we offer a variety of addiction treatment options for you and or loved ones. Here are just some of the quality treatment options we provide:

  • Inpatient Treatment
  • Outpatient Treatment (OP)
  • Intensive Outpatient (IOPs)
  • Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
  • Therapy (Cognitive behavioral therapy, holistic therapy, etc.)
  • Supportive Housing

Let BRC Recovery Help You Today!

If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction, look no further than BRC Recovery located in Austin, Texas. It is not too late to turn things around for the better. Music therapy for addiction is just one of many quality programs we offer. We are dedicated to making sure everyone gets quality treatment for years to come. Don’t wait, give us a call today to start the journey towards an addiction-free life.

Call us today to learn more about our medically supervised detoxification.


Get the Gift of Healing

BRC Recovery is designed to be as safe, comfortable and healing as possible. Let us guide you through the first step toward permanent recovery. Contact us at 1-866-461-1759 to learn more about our medically supervised detoxification.