Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies


Social Sciences


E Kellogg, PhD


This paper examines past and current usages of expressive arts therapy in developing coping mechanisms for substance use recovery and explores possibilities for further integration in the adolescent and young adult population around the world. Abundant information is available on the effects of drugs and other substances on mental health, but more research is needed on how the integration of expressive arts therapy can enhance substance abuse programs for these populations. According to the CDC, elevated adverse effects on mental health occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic in the US with young adults reporting increased substance use (Czeisler et al., 2020). The integration of expressive arts therapy into programs can increase the awareness of its benefits and provide a wider range of options for coping with a substance use disorder (SUD). Current research shows a need for further investigation into how expressive arts therapy can be used to develop coping mechanisms for these populations. Research on the arts in action can be found separately but more information is needed on the holistic integration of the expressive arts as many findings included dated short-term interventions utilizing one or two art forms on very narrow populations with little to no follow-up. This review examines existing practices and contributes toward a better understanding of developing coping mechanisms to manage substance use through expressive arts therapy.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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