It is well documented that engaging with arts-based activities, provides general populations a wide range of social, health, and well-being benefits. Yet, the evidence for arts-based activities delivered with/to people in drug and alcohol recovery treatment communities, in the UK at least, is unfortunately negligible. Dr Kewley argues for a greater investment and understanding of the effectiveness of arts-based interventions for people in recovery from drugs and alcohol. Findings from one arts-based intervention is presented during this session.
Staging Recovery is a three year project delivered by the Geese Theatre Company in the UK. The project delivers intensive group work sessions (approx.10 per block), using Geese Theatre drama methods, each of which result in two performances; one in a ‘traditional’ theatre context, the other, in a less formal community setting. Staging Recovery, serves as a complementary intervention to conventional medical models of recovery, and uses the Arts as a vehicle to enhance the recovery capital of its participants. During this presentation, Dr Kewley summarises findings from her three year evaluation, in which participants experiences are documented. Encouraging findings demonstrate that through participation in community-drama, participants begin to: develop non-stigmatised identities; reduce harmful behaviours; develop a range of new skills; improve mental and physical wellbeing and; experience a sense of achievement and hope. However, the arts-based recovery community in the UK is in its infancy. This presentation therefore, concludes with an introduction to “Recovery and the Arts” an emergent project and network developed at Liverpool John Moores University.