Music in the prevention and treatment of substance misuse

Stoyanov, Stoyan, Papinczak, Zoe, Dingle, Genevieve A., Zelenko, Oksana, Hides, Leanne, & Tjondronegoro, Dian (2013) Music in the prevention and treatment of substance misuse. In Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs Conference 2013, 24-27 November 2013, University of Wollongong, N.S.W.



Research shows that young people at risk of developing a substance use disorder often use substances to deal with problems, particularly relationship problems and emotional problems. Music listening is a widely available and engaging activity that may help young people address these problem areas. This study was part of a larger project to develop a phone app for young people in which they use music for emotional wellbeing.


Three focus groups with young people aged 15–25 years were conducted and the transcripts were analysed by three of the authors using a thematic analysis procedure (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Key Findings: Young people used music in four main ways to achieve wellbeing: relationship building through sharing music; cre- ating an ambience using music; using music to experience an emotion more fully; and using music to modify an emotion. Several mecha- nisms by which music achieved these functions were identified. Par- ticipants also articulated specific times when they would not use music and why.

Discussion and Conclusions

The information from these focus groups provides many avenues for the development of the app and for understanding how music listening helps young people to achieve wellbeing. These ideas can readily be used with young people at risk of developing substance use problems as it gives them an engaging and low cost alternative for managing their emotions and building relationships.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 84698
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: substance, misuse, treatment, music, prevention
ISSN: 1465-3362
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 11 Jun 2015 23:22
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2017 10:36

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