Creative Writing for Substance Abuse

The purpose of this article is to convey different uses of creative writing styles for adults and teens who struggle with substance abuse, drugs or alcohol. A variety of creative writing styles were given to these people such as, poetry, expressive writing, prompts, and even music with poetry. The interventions were on topics related to the participants needs. The interventions mainly included: negative experiences from drinking, issues with self-identity, identifying positive coping skills, and some emotional topics related back to the individual.

These activities were either done individually or in a group setting.

The participants stated their overall top 2 interventions they enjoyed were the creative writing and music. These interventions were implemented more frequently in the program to help with the participant’s treatment in overcoming substance abuse. Due to limited research in this area, this intervention appears to a very beneficial treatment for individuals who are struggling with substance abuse. A finding was from implementing this intervention, drinking in adults and teens have decreased in this group.

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Another finding was the participants showed benefits from this intervention by improvements of self-esteem, self-confidence and their social skills have developed more (Snead, B., Pakstis, D., Evans, B., & Nelson, R. 2015).

This relates back to recreation therapy because we sometimes use creative writing as an intervention when working with other populations. In my clinical experience, I have implemented a creative writing, or free writing intervention for the nursing home I attended for my Geriatric clinical. The residents enjoyed the activity and stated how it helped them remember and think about things.

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The purpose of this article is to discuss the benefits of aquatic therapy as an intervention for older adults with a diagnosis of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degeneration a joint cartilage that is under the bone which causes bone on bone contact with inflammation and pain. When your body is in the water you weigh much less causing the participant to have less strain on their bones. One method included a 5 to 10 -minute warm-up session, followed by 30-40 minutes of the designated exercises and then a 5-10 -minute cool-down period. (Davis, J., & Nelson, R. 2015). The patients stated that their motor functioning had been improved, enhanced self-esteem and reduced depression. This intervention has increased patient’s mobility as well as increased their range of motion. This intervention has seemed to be very successful for this population (Davis, J., & Nelson, R. 2015).

This relates back to RT because from my experience in taking an aquatics intervention class and learning about all the different methods of aquatic therapy I can see how beneficial aquatic therapy can be for this population.


The purpose of this article is to show the benefits of using the Wii as a therapeutic intervention for those with a TBI. Brain injuries often require rehabilitative services to address impairments in cognitive, physical and psychosocial functioning (Kenuk, S., Borders, R., Palmer, K., & Nelson, R. 2015). Findings indicated that interventions using the Wii and similar video game activities contributed to improvements in physical, cognitive and psychosocial functioning in individuals with brain injuries (Kenuk, S., Borders, R., Palmer, K., & Nelson, R. 2015). Some of the findings included an increase of range of motion, coordination, gross motor skills, and mobility (physical), improved reaction time, memory, information processing and attention (cognitive). Improvements on psychosocial domain included increased self- esteem and increase of quality of the participants life. The Wii can be very beneficial for all populations and diagnoses. The use of playing the Wii for individuals diagnosed with a TBI is a very beneficial intervention (Kenuk, S., Borders, R., Palmer, K., & Nelson, R. 2015).

This relates to RT because our field allows us to work with people who have had a TBI. The use of the Wii helps us find new ways and games to help the individual return to who they once were and increase their quality of life.


Davis, J., & Nelson, R. (2015). Aquatic Exercise for Pain Management in Older Adults with Osteoarthritis. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 49(4), 326-330. doi:10.18666/trj-2015- v49-i4-6571
Kenuk, S., Borders, R., Palmer, K., & Nelson, R. (2015). Using the Wii for Functional Improvements in Individuals with Brain Injuries. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 261- 264.
Snead, B., Pakstis, D., Evans, B., & Nelson, R. (2015). The Use of Creative Writing Interventions in Substance Abuse Treatment. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 179-182.

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Creative Writing for Substance Abuse. (2022, Apr 18). Retrieved from

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