Recovery Through Rhythm: Drumming off Drugs

Aug 21, 2023Blog

There is no single, one-size-fits-all approach to recovery; treatment needs to be individualized and multidisciplinary to include both traditional cognitive-behavioral therapy and complementary therapies like somatic therapy. 

Scientific studies have shown that severe trauma impacts the Broca’s area, the language processing regions of the brain, often diminishing the efficacy of traditional talk therapy. This has resulted in the growing popularity of somatic, or body-centered therapy, to treat trauma.

One of the most unique alternative therapies we offer at Hudson Behavioral Health is the Drumming Off Drugs program from Root Drumming Systems. Several of our counselors have become certified in this form of therapy, and we have drum circles on our residential campus every Thursday.

Drumming has both a mental and physical impact on the body. It has been clinically proven to reduce anxiety and depression, boost self-esteem, improve the ability to follow instruction, and build group cohesiveness. In addition, the lower frequency rhythms played on the drum are known to resonate with the body’s own physiology, positively impacting body functions such as heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure.

Incorporating drumming into group therapy allows for creative and non-judgmental expressions of emotion and releases tension associated with PTSD, trauma, mental health issues and addiction. Coupled with rhythmic exercises, Hudson counselors use recovery analogies to relate what is learned during drumming sessions to everyday life.

In addition to our weekly drum circles, drumming can also be a part of one-on-one therapy sessions with Mental Health Therapist Kerry Turner, MSW, LCSW-C, CAC-AD. “I’ve found that using drums in my individual sessions helps patients calm their minds and bodies, release stress and emotion, and become more centered and present for their session,” says Turner. “Using somatic and creative approaches provides tremendous benefit to our patients. They can work on stabilization and healing of the reverberating effects of their trauma exposure using a means which does not re-traumatize them, and keeps them feeling safe, grounded, and rooted in the present.”

Drumming off Drugs is just one of the somatic therapies offered to Hudson patients on our residential campus or in treatment housing. Learn more about our approach to addiction treatment on our website:

About us

Hudson Behavioral Health was formed in 1980 (as Hudson Health Services, Inc.) to bring the first residential recovery program to the Eastern Shore. Today, thousands of patients later, we remain the leader in recovery programs and resources, with our staff of 100 committed to serving each patient as an individual.