Good for the Soul: How Art Can Prevent Relapse

doing art

Although drug addiction treatment is possible, relapse can also be unavoidable when it comes to recovery. Going into relapse does not mean that your treatment has failed. Relapse might only mean that it is a necessary part of your recovery process wherein bad habits and behaviors need to be addressed further. Some people have gone into relapse because they have not followed their medical treatment plan properly.

Going into relapse is difficult to accept, though it is easy to succumb to. In modern life, distractions abound. As you go through your daily life, temptations are bound to come up. You might face difficult decisions that could mean either a step towards recovery or a step back. Even if you have been treated in a rehabilitation center before, many everyday factors can still tempt you into relapse. What can you do to avoid this?

One can channel one’s energies and interests into new hobbies and passions that could help distract them from urges. An effective hobby would be expressing one’s self in art.

Art Therapy

There are various types of solutions that addiction treatment centers can provide for patients, such as group therapy and individual counseling. Still, art therapy is also one of the methods these centers use.

Art therapy comes in many forms. There is painting, dancing, music, and even poetry. The goal of art therapy is for the patient to have a healthy and effective way of communicating their thoughts and emotions. It is to express oneself and their experiences to properly process one’s feelings about these experiences.

Furthermore, art therapy aids in releasing stress and anxiety. It relieves one of trauma and the memories that go along with it.

Art therapy is a good mental health pill. Since many people who suffer from mental health disorders also suffer from drug addiction, art therapy will greatly benefit their recovery journey.

So as a person in recovery, how can you practice art therapy?

Practicing Art in Recovery

learning art

Art comes in many forms. This means that art therapy is a very flexible endeavor that you can configure according to your needs and desires. Here are a few ways to begin using art therapy as a means to your recovery process.

Meditate through painting. This can be in the form of abstract painting where you merely follow your emotions. No previous experience is required. Grab your paint and paintbrush and let it move across a canvas or paper. Choose colors that speak to you and your emotions. There are no rules. The outcome is completely up to you.

Try drawing (or painting) with your eyes closed. This will allow you to feel using your senses other than sight. You will be surprised with what you come up with once you open your eyes. This is a great exercise for expressing one’s emotions.

Dance to your favorite music playlist. This is not exactly a visual form of art, but music can also help you express your emotions. Whether you are a seasoned dancer or not, moving around will help with releasing happy hormones that can prevent relapse triggers.

There are many more ways to express oneself through art. You can explore what works for you and what you enjoy the most.


Even with art therapy, though, it is understandable if your urges become irresistible. This does not mean that you should succumb to these urges, though. This particularly vulnerable time is when you should inform your family and your doctors of what you are going through and how you feel. Seek professional help so that you can prevent a relapse episode.

Urges can become irresistible, but there are ways to prevent this apart from art therapy. You might find that seeking a maintenance treatment center can greatly help you in your journey on your road to recovery. This will minimize the addictive effect of drug use in your system to prevent you from longing for its effects.

Drug addiction and recovery from this feat is not an easy journey. There is a stigma surrounding recovery, but one should not feel defeated by society. There are many ways to battle recovery roadblocks and relapse triggers.

Art therapy is a good way to complement whatever recovery process you are going through. This creative therapy helps channel inner turmoil and deep emotions that will otherwise be kept inside for so long.

No matter what stage of recovery you are going through, always keep in mind that it is a good idea to keep your family and doctors updated with whatever you are feeling or changes in triggers and urges. This is to strengthen your support system throughout your recovery journey, which is the most important part of preventing relapse.

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