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Addiction and Art

edited by Patricia B. Santora, Margaret L. Dowell, and Jack E. Henningfield

Publication Year: 2010

Addiction to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs is one of the major public health issues of our time. It accounts for one of every five deaths in the United States and costs approximately one-half trillion dollars per year in health care expenditures and lost productivity. Its human costs are untold and perhaps uncountable. Addiction and Art puts a human face on addiction through the creative work of individuals who have been touched by it. The art included here presents unique stories about addiction. Many pieces are stark representations of life on the edge. Others are disturbing contemplations of life, meaning, and death. Some even reflect the allure of addiction and a fondness for substance abuse. A panel of addiction scientists, artists, and professionals from the art world selected the 61 pieces included here from more than 1,000 submissions. Accompanied by a written statement from the artist, each creation is emblematic of the destructive power of addiction and the regenerative power of recovery. Stunning and occasionally unsettling, this unique portfolio reveals addiction art as a powerful complement to addiction science.

Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press


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pp. viii

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pp. ix

We gratefully acknowledge the grant support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, whose sponsorship through the Innovators Combating Substance Abuse Awards Program made this unique book possible. Early encouragement of the concept of art as a viable and important approach for communication as well as a complement to science in understanding the ...

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pp. xi-xv

This book marks the intersection of science and the visual arts. It captures the real-world experience of addiction and recovery as revealed through the visual arts and the written word. Organizing a collection of art devoted to substance abuse and addiction could be seen as falling outside the sphere of addiction science. What does art have to do with addiction, anyway? Science ...

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ONE: Cultivating the Visual Arts to Stimulate Insights into Addiction and Recovery

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pp. 1-6

Substance abuse and addiction to alcohol, tobacco, and illicit and/or prescription drugs are leading public health problems of our time. Substance abuse/addiction is a major contributor to heart disease, cancer, and stroke, the three main causes of death in the United States.1 Our hospitals are filled with patients whose illnesses are severely complicated by substance...

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TWO: How the Visual Arts Capture the Complexity of Addiction

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pp. 7-13

Drawing on the visual arts to provide insights into addiction and recovery was an integral component of the national program office of Innovators Combating Substance Abuse, which two of the editors (JEH and PBS) co-directed. This program was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and was based in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral ...

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THREE: Art Complements Science: A Collection of Addiction Art and Artists’ Statements

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pp. 15-137

The addiction art in this chapter is a stunning collection documenting the stories of individuals struggling and recovering from addiction. The art has been created by artists recovering from addiction and also by non-addicted artists who have shown through their art how addiction destroys individuals, families, and communities. This collection of 61 artworks created by ...

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pp. 139-144

The art presented in this book reveals the complex struggles of individuals entrapped in a life ruled by drug addiction. Several books and articles—including our own1—address the science of addiction, but few address addiction from the perspective of artists. Art can complement science in developing a thorough understanding of the human dimensions of addiction ...

Appendix A. Addiction Art Advisory Board

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pp. 145-146

Appendix B. “Call to Artists”: Method of Gathering Art for This Collection

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pp. 147-153


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pp. 155-157

Index of Contributing Artists

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pp. 159-160

E-ISBN-13: 9781421400235
E-ISBN-10: 1421400235
Print-ISBN-13: 9780801894817
Print-ISBN-10: 0801894816

Page Count: 184
Illustrations: 61 color illus.
Publication Year: 2010