Treating Inhalant Abuse in Adolescence: A Recorded Music Expressive Arts Intervention









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Inhalant abuse is a significant public health problem that disproportionately affects adolescents. It is therefore critical to advance research on effective interventions to treat this vulnerable population. Because inhalant abuse is well known to compromise neuropsychological functioning, learning, and memory, it creates challenges for language-based psychotherapy. The purpose of this research is to study the effect of a new multimodal therapy-which we refer to as recorded music expressive arts (RMEA)- on symptom reduction and enhanced coping. Through a single case design (16-week ABA design: 3-week baseline, 10-week intervention, and 3-week postintervention), RMEA (involving songwriting, recording, and music production) was evaluated for effectiveness in psychotherapy with a 14-year-old White male, who was experiencing significant neuropsychological sequelae secondary to 3 months of inhalant abuse. It was hypothesized that the RMEA intervention would (a) ameliorate symptoms of depression as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory II and the Symptom Checklist90-R, (b) reduce psychiatric symptoms as measured by the Symptom Checklist-90-R, and (c) increase the use of adaptive coping strategies as measured by Adolescent Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced. Visual inspection of scale score trends partially supported Hypothesis 1 and more strongly supported Hypothesis 2 and 3. The results suggest that RMEA may be promising in further research with adolescent mental health, especially with those individuals who are in treatment for inhalant abuse-an often difficult-to-treat population refractory to language-based therapeutic approaches.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Adolescents; Composition; Coping; Depression; Drug Use, Abuse and Addiction; Mood Scales; Music Medicine; Psychiatric Symptoms; Recreative Music Methods; Self-Report Measures; Songwriting; Substance Use, Abuse and Addiction; Symptom Management

Indexed Terms

Psychology; Data analysis; Drug abuse; Musical recordings; Intervention; Teenagers

Study Type

Quantitative Methods; Quasi-Experimental Study


Substance Abuse and Addiction

Document Type