According to the New York State Department of Health, more than 1.9 million New Yorkers suffer from substance abuse. The boroughs of New York City with the most overdose deaths include the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. Many New Yorkers are turning to creative forms of treatment, such as New York art therapy for addiction, to treat their substance abuse disorders. When most people think of drug and alcohol treatment, they think of Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) meetings or Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). While these effectively treat substances, art therapy is a popular treatment as it encourages creativity and helps individuals develop healthy coping mechanisms. It’s also relatively unconventional and thus sparks interest in recovering addicts.
There’s no doubt that art is fun and relaxing, but what’s the science behind it? Studies show that art activates the brain’s reward center. When you’re creating art, you have numerous decisions to make. For example, what color should you paint the dress? Or, what style of paint should you use? The activation of the brain’s reward center ultimately makes you feel good and subsequently helps treat addictive behaviors. Not only that, but evidence shows art helps lower stress, which is common amongst recovering addicts (especially those with concurrent conditions).