The Many Faces of Alcohol Recovery

Some experts believe that alcoholism is a disease that needs to be treated medically. Others claim that it is a physical condition resulting from an individual decision to drink, rather than a physiological or pathological trigger. Still others approach alcoholism as just another problem that can be overcome with the right solutions. Put all of these experts in the same room with the 17-member Grace Note Choir and they will see the real face of alcohol recovery in the lives of these former alcoholics and drug addicts who have since found new meaning to life.
The lesson to be learned from the Grace Note Choir is that addiction is as different for each person as his or her individual faces. Just looking at their faces reveals male and female, young and old, light and dark-skinned, and so on. Each of those individuals has had his or her personal struggle with alcohol or drugs; each has had his or her road to recovery.

The danger among experts who argue about the origins of substance abuse is that strongly held positions often lead to one-size-fits-all treatment methods those experts attempt to apply to everyone in recovery. The Grace Note Choir is evidence that just the opposite is true. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to overcoming addiction. There may be basic guidelines to follow, but each person in recovery must be treated as an individual.

The Need for Creative Therapies

We are fortunate that in the last several decades the medical community has come to realise the need for different kinds of treatments and therapies that go above and beyond alcohol detox and primary rehab counselling. This new awareness has opened the door to quite a few creative therapies. In fact, we are seeing many of these therapies now being embraced by drug and alcohol rehab clinics around the country. Here are just a few examples:

  • Music Therapy – Music plays an integral role in the enjoyment of life. For some in drug and alcohol recovery, music can be intensely therapeutic. Music can be used to focus the attention, calm nerves, reduce anxiety, and work out stress. Learning to play an instrument can give those in recovery a sense of accomplishment that helps them to understand they can do whatever they set their minds to.
  • Equine Therapy – Studies have shown that drug and alcohol users who already possess an innate love for animals respond very well to animal-based therapies. As a result, equine therapy is now starting to pop up across the UK. Private residential clinics use horses to provide clients with both leisure and opportunities to learn responsibility by taking care of the animals.
  • Exercise and Nutrition – More private clinics are integrating exercise and nutrition programmes into their therapies for residential clients. They have discovered that such integration helps clients to adopt a healthier mindset, which, by its very nature, strengthens resolve to recover and avoid relapse.

These three examples of creative therapy are things we would never have seen in drug and alcohol recovery 30 years ago. However, thanks to a greater awareness of the many faces of drug and alcohol recovery, clinicians and clinic operators are coming to appreciate the fact that recovery is a very personal experience requiring a more personal treatment plan.

We wish the Grace Note Choir much success as they promote alcohol recovery in their local area. To that end, we also hope to see more creativity in developing the treatments and therapies individuals need to overcome alcohol and drugs.


  1. Chester Chronicle –
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