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The Use of Music Therapy during Residential Inpatient Treatment

Music therapy is a well-established method for a variety of ailments, and it is now used in residential inpatient treatment for drug addicts. Listening to, playing, and even composing songs has helped many people open up to their counselors and make groundbreaking progress during drug rehab. Neuroscience has also shown that the right music can have a profound impact on people’s moods and cognitive abilities. Whether or not they’ve played music in their past, people attending residential inpatient treatment should understand and use music therapy to their fullest advantage.

Understanding Music Therapy

Music therapy refers to a variety of treatments in which patients play or listen to music with instruments or voice. This can be done in groups or in one-on-one settings. Music therapists may also facilitate discussions about the relationships between patients’ feelings and the songs they choose, compose, or improvise. Overall, this practice is helpful for:

  • Reducing stress
  • Giving people non-verbal outlets for their emotions
  • Boosting confidence
  • Learning to cope with negative emotions
  • Socializing and bonding with peers
  • Lowering blood pressure and heart rate
  • Feeling at ease
  • Becoming open to deep emotional discussions

Uses for Drug Rehab

Residential Inpatient Treatment Hotline 1-800-706-9190

Music therapy is useful for both detox and long-term rehab therapies. In detox, patients are typically anxious, distressed, and in physical pain. Listening to slow, relaxing music can help them calm their emotions and even reduce the pain the experience as they endure withdrawal. However, music therapists must also be careful not to play songs which remind addicts of drug use or hallucinogenic experiences.

During individual counseling sessions, music therapists can participate in therapies alongside addicts and their counselors. Playing or listening to meaningful songs can help withdrawn patients open up, trust their counselors, and confront their personal problems. Group music therapy can similarly improve trust among fellow rehab patients. Therapists may encourage groups to participate in drum circles, discuss song lyrics, or improvise with different instruments.

Treating Mental Illnesses

Music therapy has long been used to treat people with depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. It has even been used to reduce the frequency of psychotic episodes in schizophrenics. This is excellent for residential inpatient treatment, since so many drug addicts and alcoholics suffer from co-occurring mental conditions. Mental patients are known to relapse at higher rates than other addicts, and treating these conditions is sometimes the only way for them to achieve lasting sobriety.

No Talent Required

Although musicians can use their abilities during music therapy, no talent or prior experience is required. The point of this treatment is to be expressive, and even untrained improvisation on unfamiliar instruments can produce positive effects. Some addicts choose to simply listen to music, anyway.

Residential Inpatient Treatment Accreditation

Music therapy is not one of the primary “evidence-based” methods which most rehab clinics use – but the therapists must be accredited. A national body called the Certification Board for Music Therapists gives credentials to people who have attained degrees in music therapy and who demonstrate competence with examinations every five years. Roughly twenty percent of major insurance providers also now include music therapists in their provider networks.

Inpatient Treatment Hotline 1-800-706-9190

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, you need to take action as soon as possible. Addiction is a life-threatening disease, so call the number at the top of your screen now. Our dedicated representatives are standing by day and night to help you get started on a residential inpatient treatment program.

About The Contributor
The editorial staff of Recovery First is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands... Read More