There are a number of disturbing and heart wrenching photos available that depict the hardships that addiction puts people through. It is devastating to see photos of people who have been robbed of their mental and physical health by addiction, yet one of the most effective visual representations of addiction is the art created by addicts themselves. There is actually quite a bit of addiction art available to view because addicts often turn to art to express themselves, rehab centers and treatment facilities frequently offer art therapy and simply because creative minds and addiction prone minds are often one in the same.
Art creation can be a hugely beneficial tool for addicts. Art creation is a cathartic process which harmlessly allows the addict complete control of their creative world. This gives them a tool for self expression and allows them to communicate what addiction is to them. There is no artistic talent required for this process, and addicts do not even need to communicate through recognizable images. They are free to simply express themselves through color, lines, collage items, abstract images and more. Psychologists and mental health specialists have discovered that art creation and coloring is an effective way of connecting a person to their inner child, which is very beneficial to the process of recovery from addiction.
When addicts depict addiction through their art, they seldom depict it as being a part of themselves. They typically create the addiction to be outside of themselves, a separate entity. This is a very important connection to make as it affirms their desire to separate from addiction. It also allows them to address it as its own evil and purge their feelings of betrayal toward it. These art creations are a positive reinforcement to recovery because they aid the addict in moving on from their addiction.