Anxiety (Panic)/DepressionArt, Music, DanceSubstance Abuse

The value of music therapy for substance abuse treatment

According to researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia, music therapy is a promising approach to improving engagement in substance abuse treatment groups.

First the details.

  • Patient attendance rates and perceptions of the music therapy were surveyed.
  • 24 surveys were analyzed.

And, the results.

  • There was enjoyment and motivation to participate during the sessions.
  • 83% reported they would attend another music therapy session.
  • 46% felt that music therapy would help them feel more a part of the group.
  • The response was positive for all ages and substances abused.

The bottom line?
An earlier study on the impact on songwriting and lyric analysis concluded there was some benefit, although the effect was not statistically significant. Another reported less depression, stress, anxiety, and anger immediately following the music therapy sessions.

Finding a way to engage patients in treatment is good. But does it affect future abstinence?

We don’t know.

2/14/08 20:33 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.