Exclusive Interview: How Recovery Unplugged Changes Lives Through Music

by Jill Gleeson

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday April 3, 2019

Exclusive Interview: How Recovery Unplugged Changes Lives Through Music
  (Source:Vicky Quintero/Recovery Unplugged)

The statistics are staggering and scary. Research has shown that the rate of substance addiction in the LGBTQ community is 10 to 20 percent higher than that of the general population, which hovers around 9 percent. Fortunately, nationally recognized Recovery Unplugged is making headway to change those statistics through music and an innovative treatment protocol.

While the specific challenges queer people face (including discrimination, harassment and family rejection) may contribute to these higher addiction rates, getting clean and sober is much the same for us as anyone else. However, treatment programs must respect and understand their clients' diverse sexual and gender identities. No one should be worrying about being treated with kindness and dignity while kicking drugs and/or alcohol.

Recover Unplugged does that, and so much more. A network of treatment centers with locations in cities like Austin, Texas, RU has taken the unprecedented step of utilizing the power music to help overcome addiction. Better than any other modality, music helps break down the emotional walls addicts put in place and rebuild self-esteem. Performing, writing or simply listening to music fosters connections between clients and therapists, which further facilitates healing.

EDGE gained exclusive access to Recovery Unplugged to further explore the impact of drug addiction in the LGBTQ community. In this video, Hayden discusses some of the challenges he's faced as a transgender man seeking help, and how Recovery Unplugged was a game changer in his ability to get (and stay) sober.

Do you or someone you know need help? Visit Recovery Unplugged for more information.

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Jill Gleeson is a travel and adventure journalist based in the Appalachians of Central Pennsylvania. Find her on Facebook and Twitter at @gopinkboots.

How Music Medicine Heals

This story is part of our special report titled How Music Medicine Heals. Want to read more? Here's the full list.