Hip-hop Teaches Millions About Recovery From Addiction

According to Phil Grant, an addiction therapist at Smarmore Castle, an Irish rehab clinic, “music is universal, whether it’s hip-hop, blues, rock, traditional Irish or ancient. Music is a way of communicating that doesn’t need words.” And writing about music is a good way to celebrate Recovery Month.

Phil facilitates a drum circle at Smarmore rehab clinic in County Louth (the clinic I’m working for). “We build community through rhythm,” he says.

At Smarmore, participants in the drum circle get hands-on experience of community building by learning:

  • Respect for others in the group

  • To listen and not talk over each other

  • To have fun

  • To deal with anxiety and fear

  • To become facilitators

But they don’t do hip-hop at Smarmore and that’s what I want to write about in this article. Drum circles and other types of therapeutic music (like this one in the USA) are great, they really are. I know as I’ve participated in several drumming groups, but the truth is that they only reach a few people and the number who are affected by addiction is staggering.

My objective is to help raise awareness about recovery from addiction in Ireland and if hip-hop can help reach a wider, and younger, audience then surely that is a force for good.

On a personal level I feel enriched by researching this article as I’ve come across a type of hip-hop, the Irish variant, that I would love to explore further.


More Information on getting Addiction Treatment:

If you would like more help and information on addiction treatment, you can contact us here. For more information about the admissions process, or treatment at Smarmore Castle alcohol and drugs rehab centre, please call our confidential phone lines: Rupert Wolfe Murray is a freelance editor and author of the travel book 9 Months in Tibet. He’s currently working as a writer for Smarmore rehab clinic in County Louth.

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