||email Dr. SETI ®||
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who are fighting drug addiction may find relief in "drumming circles," especially when combined with more-traditional drug rehabilitation, according to one Arizona researcher.
Drumming may offer some drug addicts a way "to achieve relaxation and natural altered states of consciousness that substitute for drug-induced highs," Dr. Michael Winkelman of Arizona State University in Tempe told Reuters Health in an interview.
Winkelman noted that the repetitious beats of drums and other percussion instruments are known to elicit brain waves associated with relaxation and pleasurable experiences.
Drumming circles appear to be gaining a certain level of acceptance at drug rehabilitation centers across the U.S., according to the investigator, who has been following the trend and writes about it in the April issue of the American Journal of Public Health.
Based on his experience interviewing drug rehabilitation counselors and attending 'Drumming Out Drugs' events, Winkelman reports on several ongoing drumming circle programs that have undertaken some sort of percussion activity for people trying to beat their addiction to drugs.
Winkelman said he found that many proponents of drumming circles see drumming as a safe way to achieve altered states of consciousness without the use of drugs and their harmful side effects.
In addition, Winkelman told Reuters Health that the social aspects of drumming groups can provide valuable support that people trying to overcome substance abuse often need.
"People trying to quit drugs need a support system," Winkelman said. "They need other people to help them maintain sobriety, and drumming groups can act as another type of support group."
"The physiological effects of drumming and the positive effects of group drumming experiences on recovery that are attested to by counselors who have incorporated these activities into substance abuse rehabilitation programs provide a compelling rationale for the utilization and evaluation of this resource," Winkelman concludes in his article.
Nonetheless, Winkelman said in the interview that he sees drumming circles as "a supplement ... or a complement, rather than a replacement for what's going on already."
SOURCE:American Journal of Public Health 2003;93:647-651.
Copyright © H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D.; Maintained by Microcomm
this page last updated 14 June 2007