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It is almost a cliche. Many creative types believe that drug and alcohol use enhances their creativity or is even necessary for the creative process to work at its highest level. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In reality, substance abuse actually kills creativity as addiction progresses, making it more and more difficult for the creative process to work. After all, it is not very creative to be passed out from the effects of drugs or alcohol, or unaware of what you are doing because you are too far under the effects of your chosen substance. Though it may seem that substance abuse lowers your inhibitions at first, it eventually leads to a lack of productivity as addiction takes over.
Creative people who struggle with substance abuse often find that recovery is a time of renewed creativity when they can rediscover the creative side of themselves. Once the drugs or alcohol have left their system, their minds are clear and they can once again concentrate on the creative processes that once gave them so much satisfaction.
Creativity is also beneficial for recovery because it can bring about self-expression that helps addicts understand their feelings and cope with them better. Creative outlets like writing, creating artwork, dance, or drama give addicts different ways to express their complicated emotions, both positive and negative, and make them more self-aware in the process.
Those with addiction disorders can sometimes resist exploring their creative side in recovery. They may rationalize that their creative pursuit is part of what got them addicted in the first place, or assume that their creativity will be stunted without the substance that they think made their creative efforts better.
Another reason addicts sometimes resist creative pursuits is that they can sometimes bring about intense feelings that may seem too hard to handle at first. Eventually, however, many people in recovery find that they are actually more creative than ever before and that their creativity can help them come to terms with their feelings in ways that just thinking or talking about them cannot accomplish.
The effectiveness of creative efforts is well-known by addiction treatment providers, many of which use art therapy as well as music, drama, and dance to explore some of the deeper issues many entering recovery may face. Not only are many people better off with some creative outlets at their disposal, but these pursuits can help those in recovery channel their feelings and impulses into something positive rather than becoming too introspective, which can lead to depression and other challenges.
Recovery Village at Palmer Lake is a Colorado drug rehab that offers art therapy and other creative outlets to those in recovery because of the proven benefits of these methods. Learn about admissions and find out how your stay in Colorado drug rehab can be more rewarding and positive when you recapture your creativity in the process.
The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.
We can help answer your questions and talk through any concerns.