This article is intended to be used by the general public for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a reference for educational research papers, nor is it a reflection of the services available through our Rehab Program in Thailand.
On Friday 26th of January 2018, in Melbourne, Australia. Nine music festival goers were admitted to hospital for suspected overdoses, due to drugs taken whilst partying.
This led me to thinking deeply about an encounter with a young male adult, I met recently. He began to tell me about his first experience of dropping ecstasy, at a well-known dance club in London, England.
“It makes the music sound better. You become one with it. It doesn’t sound the same without it.”
“Recent studies indicate that music can serve as a contextual conditioned stimulus in rats and influence drug-seeking behaviour during abstinence.” APA (American Psychological Association)
I asked, “So although you’ve only dropped one tab. It has already changed the way in which you listen and experience music?”
“Pretty much,” was his response.
“That sounds scary to me. That a chemical can have so much influence over how you enjoy something and without it you no longer can experience music the same.”
He shrugged his shoulders, before kissing my cheek and carrying on with his day. My mind tussling with the power of the pill and the way it had changed the young man’s interaction with the world, after taking it only once.
Recovery is about becoming responsible for yourself. Your behaviour and actions.
Learning how to deal with suppressed emotions, mean this can be a challenging but worthwhile endeavour.
Notice and sort out the effects which drug taking has had on your life. Become aware of how the drugs have changed your brain.
Participate within a psycho-educational program.
Commit to the task of intensive brain re-training.
Develop new neural pathways.
Create a different way of thinking and living. It’s a pivotal part of the recovery process.
Being aware of the stimulus surrounding ourselves, is an incredibly important part of the recovery journey. One of the things which needs to be thought about during this time, is music.
Becoming present is an important part of this process.
It may not be the only think which tips you over the edge but it can be one of the elements which creates the perfect storm, combined with different factors within your lifestyle and environment. It is important to take notice of what is going on before things become overwhelming.
Practice self – care. Monitoring the music you’re listening to and enjoying, is one of the ways in which you can do this.
As a parent, it is worthwhile to monitor the appropriateness of your child’s musical taste with their age. Influence them positively as much as possible and talk with them about the meaning of the song lyrics on the tracks they enjoy. Educate yourself so you can understand the references and then explore in a suitable manner, the meaning for them in the music. This can be achieved lightheartedly and in general conversation.
Music and recreational substance abuse has been intricately linked in the past, present and no doubt will be in the future but you can take control of what listen to on your road to recovery. Choose wisely and choose well.
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