New Note Orchestra creates a huge impact on the lives of our participants and we know that music helps people with their recovery in many different ways. But don’t take our word for it. Below are lots of scientific studies that show how music has helped in various treatment settings for people who are in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.

1) Effects of a single lyric analysis intervention on withdrawal and craving with inpatients on a detoxification unit: A cluster-randomised effectiveness study. Silverman J. Substance Use & Misuse 2016;51(2):241-.

Background: For patients hospitalized on inpatient detoxification units, reducing negative symptoms such as withdrawal and craving is a key treatment area. Although lyric analysis is a commonly utilized music therapy intervention for clients in substance abuse rehabilitation, there is a lack of randomized controlled music therapy studies systematically investigating how lyric analysis interventions can affect patients on a detoxification unit. Objective: The purpose of this cluster-randomized effectiveness study was to measure the effects of single-session group lyric analysis interventions on withdrawal and craving with patients on a detoxification unit. A secondary purpose of this study was to determine if relationships existed between treatment effects and participants’ familiarity with the song. Methods: Participants (N = 144) were cluster-randomized to experimental (posttest only) or wait-list control (pretest only) conditions to provide treatment to all participants in an inclusive single-session design. Results: Although participants in the experimental condition had lower withdrawal and craving means than participants in the control condition, these differences were not significant. Familiarity of the song in the lyric analysis was not related to withdrawal or craving. Conclusion: Group-based lyric analysis interventions may be effective for temporarily relieving withdrawal and craving in patients on a detoxification unit. Familiarity of the song did not affect results. Implications for clinical practice, suggestions for future research, and limitations are provided. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(journal abstract)

2) Extremely fragile: playing with care! A study on music therapy’s application with young patients suffering from drug addiction. Navone S. Nordic Journal of Music Therapy 2016;25(Supplement 1):52-53.

The authors propose a study on music therapy’s application to patients suffering from drug addiction admitted in a therapeutic community. Methods: In a period of 20 months, corresponding to 80 weekly sessions, the emotional states of participants (n = 54 males) are examined through technical analysis of individual sessions and in parallel the compilation of 20 individual monthly VAS questionnaire before and after each session (VAS questionnaire = 40). The proposed items have investigated the following emotional states according to five fundamental domains in the rehabilitation of this clinical setting: Rage, Anxiety, Loneliness, Confidence and Awareness of own emotional state. The music therapy approach used in this context is mainly based on intersubjective psychological theories and allows for “affect attunement” moments. Results/conclusion: The results of the study suggest that music therapy can lead to a real change of internal states especially for items relevant to Rage, Anxiety and Confidence in the group.

3) Music as an auditory cue for emotions and cravings in adults with substance use disorders. Short ADL Psychology of Music 2016;44(3):559-573.

Music is commonly found in substance using contexts yet little is known about whether music acts as an auditory cue for emotions and cravings that might lead to substance use. The current study addressed two questions: first, whether individuals in treatment for substance use disorders (SUD) show different emotional responses to music compared to matched controls, and second, whether music listening can increase and reduce cravings to use substances in individuals with SUD. Participants were 19 adults in residential treatment for SUD and 19 healthy adults matched for age and gender (both samples had a mean age of 31 years and 53% males). There were significant between-group differences in emotional response to relaxing, happy, and sad music – in particular, participants with SUD showed a dampened response to happy music. Furthermore, after listening to a participant-selected song related to their substance use, individuals with SUD experienced an increase in cravings, while after listening to a nominated abstinent song, there was a decrease in cravings. These results show that music may act as a mild auditory cue for emotions and cravings in adults with SUD. Potential uses of music in SUD treatment are discussed, such as musical stimuli for cue exposure.

4) Effects of Educational Music Therapy on Knowledge of Triggers and Coping Skills, Motivation, and Treatment Eagerness in Patients on a Detoxification Unit: A Three-Group Cluster-Randomised Effectiveness Study. Silverman MJ Korean Journal of Music Therapy 2015;17(2):81-101.

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of educational music therapy on knowledge of triggers and coping skills, motivation, and treatment eagerness in patients on a detoxification unit. Participants were cluster randomized to one of three treatment conditions: educational music therapy, education without music, or recreational music therapy. Participants (N=58) completed brief pre- and posttests to assess knowledge of triggers and coping skills, motivation, and treatment eagerness. Educational music therapy participants were involved in a highly structured group songwriting intervention wherein first verse lyrics concerned triggers for using substances and second verse lyrics concerned positive coping skills. Between-group results were not significant for knowledge of triggers for using substances, coping skills, or treatment eagerness. Regardless of treatment condition, there were significant increases from pre- to posttest on perceptions of motivation to reach and maintain sobriety and treatment eagerness. Concerning motivation for reaching and maintaining sobriety, there was a statistically significant posttest between-group difference: Participants in the educational music therapy condition had significantly higher motivation than participants in education without music or recreational music therapy conditions. Highly structured songwriting interventions concerning triggers for using substances and coping skills may be an engaging and effective way to educate and motivate patients in detoxification and other short-term substance abuse rehabilitation settings. Limitations, implications for clinical practice, and suggestions for future research are provided.

5) Music therapy in addictions treatment. Murphy M. Music therapy handbook. 2015;:354-.

Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences”. Persistent drug and/or alcohol use has been found to change the structure and functioning of the brain. These changes, which disrupt the way critical brain structures interact to control and inhibit behaviors, can be long-lasting and are thought to lead to the persistent, repetitive, and often self-destructive behaviors associated with addiction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)(chapter)

6) Participatory choral music as a means of engagement in a veterans’ mental health and addiction treatment setting. Liebowitz Marian Arts & Health: An International Journal of Research, Policy and Practice 2015;7(2):137-.

Background: the purpose of this study was to investigate how participation in a music-based performance and instruction program influenced the sense of engagement experienced by participants at a residential setting for at-risk veterans. Methods: semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants in a veterans’ choir program conducted at the facility. Results: prominent themes that emerged from the interview included (1) the veterans’ personal motivations for participating; (2) emotions associated with participation; and (3) perceptions of intragroup dynamics. Conclusions: primary conclusions drawn include: (1) opportunities to connect with others through shared interests may contribute to sense of engagement; (2) connections forged with other residents of the facility extended beyond relationships established in the choir through increased recognition associated with performances; and (3) the choir represented a diversion from pressing concerns and may have served as a means of facilitating adjustment to change at a measured pace. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)(journal abstract)

7) The influence of music on emotions and cravings in clients in addiction treatment: A study of two clinical samples. Dingle GA The Arts in Psychotherapy 2015;(45):18–25.

Highlights: • The study provides a detailed analysis of the music experiences of clients in treatment for alcohol and drug problems. • Clients of a hospital alcohol and drug service said that music listening intensified their emotional response to drug taking and vice versa. • Forty-three percent of the clients in residential rehabilitation identified a specific song or genre of music that cued an urge to use substances. • Mechanisms linking music with cravings included associations with their previous substance use; music evoked emotions associated with previous substance use; and music contained lyrics concerning their primary substance. • A majority of clients endorsed a view that music was important in their recovery from substance misuse.

8) Effects of Music Therapy on Drug Avoidance Self-Efficacy in Patients on a Detoxification Unit A Three-Group Randomised Effectiveness Study. Silverman J. Journal of Addictions Nursing 2014;25(4):172.

Self-efficacy is a component of Bandura’s social cognitive theory and can lead to abstinence and a reduction of relapse potential for people who have substance abuse disorders. To date, no music therapy researcher has utilized this theoretical model to address abstinence and reduce the likelihood of relapse in people who have addictions. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of music therapy on drug avoidance self-efficacy in a randomized three-group wait-list control design with patients on a detoxification unit. Participants (N = 131) were cluster randomized to one of three single-session conditions: music therapy, verbal therapy, or wait-list control. Music therapy participants received a group lyric analysis intervention, verbal therapy participants received a group talk therapy session, and wait-list control participants eventually received a group recreational music therapy intervention. Although there was no significant between-group difference in drug avoidance self-efficacy, participants in the music therapy condition tended to have the highest mean drug avoidance self-efficacy scores. Posttest written comments supported the use of both music therapy and verbal therapy sessions. Two music therapy participants specifically noted that their initial skepticism had dissipated after receiving music therapy. Despite a lack of significant differences, the theoretical support of self-efficacy for substance abuse rehabilitation suggests that this may be an area of continued clinical focus and empirical investigation. Clinical anecdotes, limitations of the study, and suggestions for future research are provided.

9) The use of art and music therapy in substance abuse treatment programs. Aletraris Lydia Journal of Addictions Nursing 2014;25(4):190-.

Although the implementation of evidence-based practices in the treatment of substance use disorders has attracted substantial research attention, little consideration has been given to parallel implementation of complementary and alternative medical (CAM) practices. Using data from a nationally representative sample (N = 299) of U.S. substance abuse treatment programs, this study modeled organizational factors falling in the domains of patient characteristics, treatment ideologies, and structural characteristics, associated with the use of art therapy and music therapy. We found that 36.8% of treatment programs offered art therapy and 14.7% of programs offered music therapy. Programs with a greater proportion of women were more likely to use both therapies, and programs with larger proportions of adolescents were more likely to offer music therapy. In terms of other treatment ideologies, programs’ use of Motivational Enhancement Therapy was positively related to offering art therapy, whereas use of contingency management was positively associated with offering music therapy. Finally, our findings showed a significant relationship between requiring 12-step meetings and the use of both art therapy and music therapy. With increasing use of CAM in a diverse range of medical settings and recent federal legislation likely to reduce barriers in accessing CAM, the inclusion of CAM in addiction treatment is growing in importance. Our findings suggest treatment programs may be utilizing art and music therapies to address unique patient needs of women and adolescents. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)(journal abstract)

10) A comparison of the effects of music therapy interventions on depression, anxiety, anger, and stress on alcohol-dependent clients: A pilot study. Hwang Eun-Young Music and Medicine 2013;5(3):136-.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the immediate and short-term effects of 3 different types of music therapy interventions on the levels of depression, anxiety, anger, and stress in clients with alcohol dependence. Thirty-six male clients participated in 30-minute music therapy sessions twice a week over a period of 6 weeks. The music therapy program was comprised of singing, music listening, and playing instruments. Each activity was conducted for 2 weeks and for 4 sessions. A repeated measures pretest–posttest design was used. An analysis of variance indicated no statistically significant differences in the effects of the 3 types of music therapy interventions on the levels of depression, anxiety, anger, and stress; however, participants’ scores in depression, anxiety, anger, and stress were significantly reduced after participating in the music therapy sessions. In the singing activity, significant differences in depression and stress levels were found between participant-selected songs and therapist-selected songs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)(journal abstract)

11) Review of Songs in group psychotherapy for chemical dependence. Krout E. Journal of Music Therapy 2013;50(1):58-.

Reviews the book, Songs in Group Psychotherapy for Chemical Dependence by A. D. Reitman (2011). In this book, the author presents a wealth of material in a clearly organized and systematic manner which is designed to facilitate both client and therapist success. The heart of the book is an integrated series of session protocols which can be implemented to help clients with chemical dependency challenge their addictive thinking and engage in lifestyle repair via song-related experiences within a group psychotherapy approach. This book comprises three parts. The first part lays out both the intentions and the organization of the book. In second part, seven protocols for the early recovery stage of challenging additive thinking and denial are detailed. The third part of the book details another seven protocols dealing with the middle recover stage of lifestyle repair. The author has made a valuable contribution to the literature with this manual. The practical uses of the session protocols will give clinicians an excellent framework for implementing clinical song-based experiences that are accessible, nonthreatening, and which allow clinicians to assist clients in recovery from chemical addiction gain insight into their own lives and recovery processes within the dynamic environment of the group. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

12) The impact of group music therapy on negative affect of people with co-occurring substance use disorders and mental illnesses. Gardstrom C. Music Therapy Perspectives 2013;31(2):116-.

The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of group music therapy on levels of self-reported negative affect (NA) among men and women on a residential unit of an integrated dual diagnosis treatment program. More specifically, we sought to determine if, and to what degree engagement in composition, receptive (listening), re-creation (performing), and improvisation experiences would result in a shift—namely, a decrease—in the intensity of self-reported NA. Participants were adults in residential treatment who had been diagnosed with co-occurring substance use disorders (SUDs) and mental illnesses (Mis), predominantly mood and anxiety disorders. Twenty group-music-therapy sessions were held on the unit. Three researcher-developed visual analogue scales were used to assess pre and postsession levels of anxiety, anger, and sadness. In total, 89 surveys were analyzed. Results indicate that nearly a third of the participants who were involved in the treatment groups reported a decrease in anxiety, sadness, and anger combined, with more than half of the responses in each of these three emotional states indicating a decrease. While these are encouraging results, generalization of findings is limited primarily by the use of a nonstandardized measurement tool, the absence of a control group, the possibility of intentional deceit, and the potential for researcher bias in the collection and compilation of the data. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)(journal abstract)

13) “Must be the ganja”: Using rap music in music therapy for substance use disorders. Baker A. Therapeutic uses of rap and hip-hop. 2012;:321-.

This chapter discusses music therapy using rap music for the treatment of substance abuse. Over the last decade, music and music therapy approaches have been increasingly reported in the literature as playing a valuable role in the rehabilitation of people with substance use disorder (SUD). Music therapy is especially suitable to substance abuse treatment because of its ability to motivate and engage clients with SUD, counteract isolation, elicit surfacing of emotions and positive mood changes, decrease stress and anxiety, and decrease impulsivity. The types of music activities that have been used in treatment for substance abuse include guided relaxation, lyric analysis, songwriting, singing, instrument playing such as drumming, and improvisation on a particular theme. Treder-Wolff suggests that music therapy provides opportunities for clients to access feelings that are both integral to the addiction and pose obstacles to recovery. Doughtery stated that one of the primary goals of the music therapy program, which possibly lies intrinsic within the act of music making/listening, is to teach the client how to cope with emotions without resorting to substance use. Recent studies that we conducted found that music combined with cognitive behavioral therapy was effective in exploring clients’ emotions and feelings around their SUD, and in facilitating the discussion of topics addressed in their programs. The clients tended to learn to tolerate their uncomfortable feelings without the need to use substances. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)(chapter)

14) Dialogues for Sobriety: Health Learning in the Context of Addictions – A Hungarian Model. Kelemen G. Practice: Social Work in Action 2012;24(1):21-39.

The recovery model followed at the Leo Amici Foundation, a rehabilitation centre for recovering addicts, in many respects relies on the concepts and practices of 12-step recovery programmes. Their approach amalgamates theatre and music therapy and sports. This article describes a collaborative health education programme between the Leo Amici Foundation, a Hungarian school of social work, and several secondary schools. The aim of this project was to build an inspiring context for health education in the prevention of addictions which would benefit the all the different populations of participants, namely secondary school pupils, social work students, recovering addicts, and professionals in the field of addiction studies. The project utilised a version of theatre therapy modelled on the approach of theatre in education (TIE) and involved several structured encounters and conversations among secondary school pupils, teachers and other professionals. This school-based programme was followed up with a conference organised for school professionals and social work students. The project was evaluated using anonymous questionnaires which containing open questions. Analysis of the responses indicated that the relational-emotional aspects of the project were valued much more by the participants than traditional forms of health education.

15) Effects of group songwriting on motivation and readiness for treatment on patients in detoxification: A randomised wait-list effectiveness study. Silverman J. Journal of Music Therapy 2012;49(4):414-.

Background: Songwriting is a commonly utilized music therapy technique for clients in substance abuse rehabilitation. For these patients, motivation and readiness for treatment remain two key treatment areas. Moreover, there is a lack of randomized and controlled music therapy studies systematically investigating how group songwriting can affect patients on a detoxification unit. Objective: The purposes of this study were to measure the effects of a single group songwriting session on motivation and readiness for treatment and determine emerging themes from patient-composed songs with patients on a detoxification unit. Methods: Participants (N = 99) were randomized to experimental (posttest only) or wait-list control (pretest only) conditions to provide treatment to all participants in an inclusive single-session design. Results: There were significant between-group differences in motivation and readiness for treatment, with experimental participants having higher means than control participants. Code categorizations from patients’ composed song lyrics concerned “action,” “emotions and feelings,” “change,” “reflection,” “admission,” and “responsibility.” Conclusion: From the results of this study, it seems that a single group songwriting session can be an effective intervention concerning motivation and readiness for treatment in patients on a detoxification unit. Implications for clinical practice, suggestions for future research, and limitations are provided. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(journal abstract)

16) The effects of group improvisational music therapy on depression in adolescents and adults with substance abuse: a randomised controlled trial. Albornoza Y. Nordic Journal of Music Therapy 2011;20(3):208-224.

The effect of group improvisational music therapy on depression in adolescents and adults with substance abuse was investigated. It was hypothesized that group improvisational music therapy would relieve depressive symptoms. Twenty-four Spanish-speaking patients receiving treatment for substance abuse at Fundación José Felix Ribas (FJFR) in Mérida-Venezuela participated in the study. Participants completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) before being randomly assigned to experimental or control groups, each consisting of three cohort groups recruited over a nine-month period. The experimental group received 12 group improvisation sessions over a three-month period, along with the standard treatment program provided at the facility, and the control group received only the standard treatment program. Post-test measures were completed at the end of each three-month treatment cycle. Differences between the groups (pre-test–post-test scores) were calculated (Mann–Whitney U Test). Results showed that both groups were equally matched on all pre-test measures. As for post-test measures, significant differences were found between the groups on HRSD but not the BDI. The experimental group was significantly less depressed after treatment than the control group, as measured by the HRSD. Improvisational music therapy led to statistically significant greater improvements in psychologist-rated depression (HRSD) when compared with the regular treatment program alone; improvisational music therapy had a clinically significant effect. Among limitations of the study were: a small sample size and the absence of a depression assessment tool for substance abuse.

17) A rationale for music-based cognitive rehabilitation toward prevention of relapse in drug addiction. Lesiuk L. Music Therapy Perspectives 2010;28(2):124-.

Recently, neuropsychologists have emphasized the need for drug addiction research and treatment to focus on cognitive rehabilitation for relapse prevention. Mild to severe neurocognitive impairment in individuals with drug addiction has been reported in several research studies. Music therapy interventions to date have addressed affective-motivational goals for relapse prevention of addiction. Although emotional, relational, and motivational music therapy interventions are pertinent to drug addiction recovery, music therapy may further extend its therapeutic impact with music-based cognitive rehabilitation (MBCR) for relapse prevention. This paper describes how MBCR may successfully address executive function deficits in individuals with drug addiction, thus reducing the likelihood of relapse. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)(journal abstract)