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Applied theatre as an 'alternative substance': Reflections from an applied theatre project with people in recovery from alcohol and drug dependency

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This article explores factors by which participation in applied theatre has the potential to have an impact on problem drug and alcohol users by operating as what the author refers to as 'alternative substance'. In particular, the author seeks to examine the possibility of applied theatre operating as an alternative form of 'escape' from their current community (a community of exclusion) and thereby functioning as a motivational force towards their social reintegration. The arguments proposed in this article will be supported by using examples of practice from an applied theatre project that the author conducted in the organization Addiction Dependency Solutions (ADS) based in Oldham, Greater Manchester.
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Keywords: 'alternative substance'; applied theatre; creativity; flow; problem drug and alcohol users; recovery from alcohol and drug dependency

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Liverpool Hope University

Publication date: 2012-01-11

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  • The Journal of Applied Arts and Health serves a wide community of artists, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers evidencing the effectiveness of the interdisciplinary use of arts in health and arts for health. It provides a forum for the publication and debate within an interdisciplinary field of arts in healthcare and health promotion. The journal defines 'health' broadly which includes physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, occupational, social and community health.
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