Please answer the following students’ responses with any life experience or something that you might hear of.  A quick 200-word response will do. No need for citations.

I choose an article by Bourdaghs & Silverman, “A Neurological rationale for music therapy to address social connectivity among individuals with substance abuse disorder”.  I have a family member that had substance use disorder (SUD) in the past, and I noticed that his music type was changed dramatically. I would like to know whether there is a scientific rational of this changes that discussed in the article.

This main purpose of this article is to explain the scientifically how the music help SUD and prevent relapse. Authors notice that there is an overlap between SUD, social connectivity, music, and music therapy. Several studies have shown that there is positive relationship between social connectivity and SUD treatment outcomes, means that people with SUD that having better social connectivity (more social support such as family or friends) tend to have successful treatment and less tendency to relapse.  The article explains that some people have issues with social connectivity because of malfunction endogenous opioid, leads people to use external opioid or alcohol to help it. Music therapy helps people with SUD to address or increase their social connectivity.

After explaining the relation of SUD with music therapy and social connectivity, the article then summarize the neurological explanation about how the music therapy can help people with SUD to minimize the addiction. There are some parts in human’s brain that plays roles in the relation of music therapy and SUD. A part that called “Nucleus Accumbens (NA)” has important roles in pleasure and behavior, and “Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA)” is the area in the brain that contains dopaminergic cells. Researchers have proved that listening to music can activates some components in the mesocorticolimbic pathway (include NA and VTA), which resulted in endogenous opioid. Either music therapy helps SUD people with build social connectivity and improves treatment outcomes, or directly improves the outcomes by effecting the brain, music therapy to help SUD is an evidence-based practice.


I am aware that music can change mood, reduced anxiety and other behavior problems, but not quite sure how much it can help SUD problems. There are a lot of new information from this article about how the music therapy works to help people with SUD. By explaining the connection between SUD, social connectivity, and music therapy, the author presents strong evidence that research for finding the best music therapy to help SUD should be warranted.

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