Substance Use Disorder


Complementary therapies for addiction have been shown, through research, to be effective when they’re used along with traditional therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy and 12-Step programs. Art therapy and music therapy are particularly suited adjuncts to drug and alcohol treatment programs.

Drumming is a form of music therapy that’s been shown to reduce stress and promote relaxation, increasing engagement in treatment and supporting after-treatment recovery. According to an article in the Journal of Addictions Nursing, Drumming and other forms of music therapy can help reduce anxiety, depression and anger.1

Drumming has been overlooked by the therapeutic community for drug and alcohol treatment, although that’s beginning to change. Our ancestors have known its importance since earliest recorded history. Addiction is the opposite of connection. Addiction isolates a person from everything -- people, community, family. When drumming, one gets a special sense of connection to the people around them sharing the drumming experience.

Drumming helps build many fundamental skills that addicts lose such as communication skills (because of the call and response) and following directions (because of the focus on instinctively following direction from the leader of the circle). Also, one’s internal dialogue is quieted, anxiety and stress take a back seat to the present moment, and a person gets a break from the challenges faced from addiction. The inclusion of drumming levels the playing field for any person.

Scientists have started to take an interest in drum therapy and its holistic benefits.  Recent research indicates that drumming accelerates physical healing, boosts the immune system and produces feelings of well-being, a release of emotional trauma, and reintegration of self. It essentially reprograms the brain by accessing the entire brain, balancing the hemispheres of the brain, stimulating the production of neuro-transmitters and enhancing neuro-plasticity.

Drumming sessions are usually one hour, and all drums and percussion are provided. All that is needed are an appropriate space, folding chairs and the clients. We can handle groups from 2 to 50 individuals.

Drum Strategies for Healing; samholmstock@gmail.com 508-728-3943


1.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4268880/