Can I Still Be Creative Without Drugs or Alcohol?

History is rife with stories of great artists deeply entrenched in drug or alcohol addiction. Many men and women attempt to use substances as means of boosting their creativity, but research has shown that drug-use does not enhance creativity, rather, it diminishes our ability for creative thought.  
Drugs rewire our brains, an experience that many people feel increases their artistic and creative ability. This feeling, however, is short lived. A study of the effects of marijuana on creativity by the National Institutes of Health found that the use marijuana only “makes users perceive themselves as having more creative thoughts and ideas”. The immediate feeling of drug-induced creativity is illusory and does not reflect reality. Research has shown that expectation of creativity being derived from drug use actually plays a greater role in this perceived boost in creative thought. A 2001 study of “The Effects of Marijuana Use on Divergent Thinking” for the Creativity Research Journal attempted to verify if there was a difference between the creativity of regular users and novice users. The study found that there was no boost in creativity among marijuana users and non-marijuana users, but that creativity increased in a group who were given a placebo and falsely believed that they were given marijuana.  
In the long-term, substances damage our brains to a point where we are no longer able to experience pleasure in a way that provides inspiration. In a 2014 study for Psychopathology, “Creativity, Alcohol and Drug Abuse: The Pop Icon Jim Morrison”, Dr. Ranier Holm-Hadulla explains, “Jim Morrison is an exemplary case showing that heavy drinking and the abuse of LSD, mescaline and amphetamines damages the capacity to realize creative motivation. Jim Morrison is typical of creative personalities like Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, Brian Jones and Jimi Hendrix who burn their creativity in early adulthood through alcohol and drugs”. Eventually, what we once perceived as a tool for the enhancement of creativity begins to deprive of us of our ability for creative thought and expression.
Many men and women entering a life of sobriety worry that they will be unable to artistically express themselves without the use of drugs and alcohol. However, by allowing our brains to heal through sobriety, we find that our ability to find creative inspiration increases. In a 2016 interview with Culture Creature, Anthony Green, singer and songwriter for Circa Survive, explains that “intoxicated songwriting is like trying to find your way through your house in the pitch black. Being sober is like being able to see everything.”
 
 
 

You can make the choice to change the story of your life. Oceanfront Recovery is a treatment center with a professional and compassionate staff of detoxification specialists dedicated to making the process as comfortable as possible.  For more information about Drug and Alcohol Detox Programs or other treatment options, please call: (877) 279-1777