The Psychological Effects of Drug Addiction on Creativity

Myths About Substance Use: Do Drugs Make Artists More Creative?

There has long been a myth among musicians and artists that their drug use inspires or fuels their creativity. Many have talked about their reluctance to get addiction treatment because they worry that the “muse” will leave them. Aspiring artists feel that their ambitions will not be realized, and established, professional artists worry that they will lose their edge and won’t be able to keep doing what they’re doing.
Though this myth persists, any addiction counselor in Gilbert will tell you that there is no merit to it. A closer look at the evidence shows us that creativity is not helped by drug use but is, in fact, hampered by it.

The Psychological Effects of Drug Addiction on Creativity

How the Brain Responds to Creative Processes

When you attempt to do something creative, you are engaging multiple areas of your brain. For example, when someone plays an instrument – or even when they sing – they are using signals from both sides of the brain. They are drawing on visual and auditory signals, as well as motor signals and processing.

Creating music and other artist is a complex process in the brain. You are putting your brain through a workout when you create, and your mind needs to be strong, not hampered by drugs, to do it.

How Drugs Affect Creativity

Drugs do not enhance creativity. In fact, they make it harder for people to be creative. But this is not conjecture. Many studies have been performed to measure the affect that drugs have, specifically, on the creative process.

For example, one study from Japan looked at the impact of LSD on creativity, and it found that it impaired the brain’s ability to create original ideas, whether it was to compose a song or craft a sculpture. In a Dutch study, researchers administered different doses of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Researchers found that the more THC a person had, the less likely they were to have creative thoughts.

The Risk of Dependency

Despite the truth about how drugs can impair creativity, many artists persist in believing that they need drugs to create. Many think that drugs help them to relax or to see things in new ways. It may be that some had that reaction when they first used drugs and their bodies were reacting in new ways. But what happens is that the body adapts quickly. Meanwhile, the psychological belief persists that the drugs are necessary.

Very quickly, a person develops not only a psychological but also a physical dependency on the drugs. They believe they cannot create art without them, which makes them keep using, and then their bodies become physically addicted.

Creativity in Recovery

Many prominent musicians have talked about the harm that drugs had on their creative process and their group dynamic. Bill Kreutzmann, the drummer for the Grateful Dead, said that cocaine brought out the worst personalities in his band mates, and it made everyone more interested in their own desires, rather than in the good of the group or the music.

Other prominent musicians have talked about how they got addiction treatment and continued to make great music – sometimes better – including Trey Anastasio of Phish and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith.

Don’t let the fear of losing your creative edge keep you from getting the Gilbert addiction treatment you need to create a healthier lifestyle for yourself. You will likely find that after treatment, you can access a stronger creativity than you had before, and you will produce even better works and get further with your music or your art.

Get Effective Addiction Treatment Services In Gilbert, AZ

Call Corebella Health & Wellness to learn more about our addiction treatment services. We offer intensive addiction treatment, outpatient services, individual and group counseling, and more. We also have a suboxone doctor to provide medication therapy. We are also a wellness clinic, and we offer services to support the development of a healthier lifestyle, including nutrition counseling, hormone replacement therapy, and pain management. We offer flexible appointments, and we take many types of insurance. We can run an insurance verification for you before your appointment. Call us today to schedule a consultation to learn more about our services and to create the right treatment plan for you. We have locations in Glendale, Tempe, and Scottsdale.


Corebella Health & Wellness

Corebella Health & Wellness

Tempe Location
2600 E Southern Ave Suite E-1
Tempe, Arizona 85282

Office: (480) 409-0322

Glendale Location
5700 W Olive Ave, Suite 107
Glendale, AZ 85302

Office: (602) 4929595

Scottsdale Location
6565 E Greenway Parkway Suite 102,
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Office: (602) 649-0677

Email: [email protected]
FAX: 877-559-2816