In Articles, Drug Rehab, Opioid Addiction
women painting

Painting, chalk drawing, sketching, journaling, playing an instrument, singing, and clay throwing. While these may all be enjoyable hobbies, they can also have many unexpected benefits. At Clearbrook Treatment Center, we are strong supporters of using art to help with the addiction recovery process.

Why Art Therapy for Addiction Works

Before we share our favorite art therapy ideas for substance abuse, you should know why it is important. Not only can art therapy for addiction recovery help fill the void that addiction left behind, but it can also have many health benefits. Studies show that art has been proven to improve mood, reduce anxiety, decrease stress, and help with pain management.1 All of these may come into play with addiction recovery. With such great benefits, our Pennsylvania inpatient center believes that for many people art therapy and addiction treatment should go hand in hand.

Art Therapy Activities for Recovering Addicts

If you are in recovery or know someone who is, check out our list of art therapy ideas for substance abuse. You just might find a new favorite hobby as well as ease the recovery process.

  1. Just start drawing. Do not think about what you want to draw before you start, just do it. You never know what you will come up with, and the entire process can be therapeutic as you are not focused on getting it right.
  2. Paint a hurtful scene. While you may have trouble talking about something traumatic that happened to you or the rock bottom points of your addiction, painting the scene may help you feel some emotional release and remove some of the power that the moment has over you.
  3. Use your hands. If you are not the most artistically talented person, ceramics or even finger painting may be a good fit. They offer a hands-on activity that is less about the end product and more about the process.
  4. Work in conjunction with a therapist. This art therapy technique involved the therapist intervening at critical times and is called the third hand. It can help the therapist and the recovering addict connect on an emotional level while also facilitating the creative process.
  5. Draw your ideal future. Drug addiction can take a lot away from the addict, but recovery is supposed to give you hope for the future. By not only visualizing your hopes for the future but also putting them down on paper, you have something concrete to strive for.

We are so much more than a detox center in Pennsylvania. Although our main goal is to help you overcome addiction, we also want our patients to have long-lasting success. We believe that the best way to do this is to help you build good habits and prepare for your time back in the real world. So, if art therapy is going to help keep our patients from relapsing, we strongly support it.

Taking the right steps to overcome a drug or alcohol addiction is important, and our Pennsylvania rehab center is here to help. Take your first steps on the road to recovery with us by your side or get a loved one the help they need. To learn more about our various programs and treatment options, call us immediately at 570-536-9621.



  1. Psychology Today – Recent Art Therapy Research: Measuring Mood, Pain and Brain


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