‘But put yourself in my position; just try to envision,
Witnessing your momma popping prescription pills in the kitchen’. Eminem – Cleaning out my Closet
Grounded in the biopsychosocial model of addiction with a strong focus on dual diagnosis – coexisting mental health illness and drug/alcohol misuse , The Harmony Program utilises the music of Amy Winehouse, U2, Eminem, Ed Sheeran, Kendrick Lamar and many more.
A study by the UK Dept. of Health suggests 75% of users of drug services and 85% of users of alcohol services have experienced mental health problems. (Weaver et al, 2002)
Mental health lies at the core of substance misuse – dual diagnosis – for many people. Because of this, many people unknowingly use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. Underlying mental health issues urgently need to be addressed in the early stages to prevent the onset of substance misuse or prevent relapse.
The Harmony Program workshops address issues such as mental health and early childhood trauma through the biopsychosocial (biological, psychological, social factors), epidemiological (patterns, causes, effects) and Motivational Interviewing (MI) for Addictive Behaviours with evidence-based music therapy for substance misuse.
Relevant music videos from artists that deal with the underlying root causes and impacts of substance misuse are used as a springboard to understand the biopsychosocial and epidemiological models of addiction and its impacts on basic human needs. Drug & alcohol misuse is explored, discussed and understood through
- Music performance videos
- Lyrical analysis of songs
- Individual creative writing of songs, raps or poems
- Using music as a therapeutic tool
The Harmony Program Workshops
Workshop 1. External environmental impacts on substance misuse:
- Dealing with peer pressure.
- How the community, culture & society influences choices.
- The impacts of living with poverty, lack of education and unemployment.
- The portrayal of drugs in music and film.
- The impacts of advertising & sponsorship.
Workshop 2. Internal environmental impacts on substance misuse:
- How parental misuse of alcohol or drugs impacts on child development’
- Surviving childhood abuse or trauma.
- The importance of love & nurturing.
- Mental health and addiction – Dual Diagnosis.
- How alcohol impacts on the developing brain.
- How drug dependence effects basic human needs.
Workshop 3. Prevention & Support
- Identifying personal misuse issues.
- Overcoming the stigma of addiction.
- How to access support structures.
- Developing a future through Motivational Interviewing (MI) for Addictive Behaviours
- The importance of sport/exercise and having a hobby.
Workshop 4. Creative Writing – Rap, Song, or Poetry
Awareness and self expression around substance misuse issues:
- Verbalising thoughts, feelings and actions.
- Coming to terms with the negative impacts of substance misuse.
- Developing emotional and intellectual growth.
- Creating an artistic representation of substance abuse issues.
- Taking ownership of your life – presentation of finished work.
Workshop 5. DJ Music Therapy
Compiling a set list of music and applying music as a coping skill:
- To manage challenging emotions, eg, stress, anger, aggression.
- Cope with substance misuse triggers.
- Managing depression and anxiety.
- Enhancing the life experience.
Workshop 6. Movie
Participants connect with the experiences of characters dealing with substance misuse in its authentic world. Encouraging honest, open and direct talk, the themes of addiction, recovery and hope are explored.
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