Does Being Gifted in Art Bear a High Correlation with Substance Abuse?

Being gifted in art does not make you more likely to do drugs. Despite some of the best artists in history having substance abuse problems, the connection is a bit vaguer. But if art is your passion, then it can be used in the healing process of substance abuse.

Getting Treatment

There have been many intellectual phenomenon’s that refused substance abuse treatment. Being gifted in any artform comes with its own set of demons. Isolation, social anxiety, fame and even work grind can all stack the deck against any individual. When so much of yourself is tied into your creations, everything else in the world has less value. Just like a workaholic, a creative mind can get carried away and forget about life. Without a proper outlet, substance abuse may sneak into your normal routine.

That is why substance abuse issues are a creation of your environment. Being gifted is not a one-way ticket to bad habits, but not taking a breather cracks the door open. Plenty of people have a drink after work to unwind after a long day. A person that is wrapped up in their art may do the same even though they’ve had several drinks throughout the day. This small difference is what turns regular habits into destructive forces.


One of the biggest myths in the world is that artists create their best work while under the influence. Andy Warhol comes to mind, with many of his colorful depictions being popularized in modern media. His drug of choice was Obetrol, an amphetamine that was once sold as a weight loss pill. Since Obetrol was easy to obtain, it became one of the easiest drugs to abuse.

Before Andy was a world-renowned painter, he was a brilliant commercial illustrator. The same paintings that made him famous were not that far off from what he was already creating. It serves as proof that the Obetrol was not responsible for a sudden rise in creativity.

This same proof can be applied to many artists around the world, even outside of painting. The Beatles were famously known for doing drugs, and then denouncing them. Some fans will argue that there was an influence on their music due to the drugs the group did together. Just like Andy Warhol, the Beatles continued to create chart topping music long after their drug use ceased.

Using Art as Treatment

Some recovery centers around the world have started using art as a way to help with treatment. It is a healthy activity that requires just enough focus to keep your mind moving. Art can be done as an individual or with a group of people. There are no special skill requirements, and the finish line is wherever you set it. This type of stress-free environment is the perfect way to get through the harder days of recovery.

Hope Is Real

Getting addicted to alcohol or drugs is not the end of your story. Once you know there is a problem, seek treatment as soon as possible. Art is a unique gift, so promote its power by having a clear mind.

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