Cournoyer Lemaire, E., Loignon, C. et Bertrand, K. (2021). The influence of music on the addictive trajectory: A conceptual framework. Addiction Research and Theory, 29(6), 500-509.
Music is increasingly considered to promote the health and well-being of clinical populations treated in hospital and psychiatric settings. Research shows numerous benefits of music on physical and mental health issues by responding to psychological, emotional, social and physical needs. However, while music’s benefits are largely supported among clinical populations, it appears that marginalized populations remain stigmatized through a lasting emphasis on their difficulties, including their use of music. Nevertheless, music appears as an innovative, accessible and promising tool to address such needs in individuals who experience social inequity regarding their access to health and helping services. Among those are marginalized individuals who suffer psychoactive substance abuse. Though research in this population remains scarce, we observe beneficial and harmful influences of music on psychoactive substance use and on the long-term addictive trajectory. In a more comprehensive manner, this article critically explores the relevance of the music and health conceptual framework developed by Västfjäll et al. to explain the role of music on the addictive trajectory. Accounting for music, individual and contextual factors, the model explains how music alters emotional states positively or negatively, which in turn modulates psychoactive substance use and the different periods encountered through the associated addictive trajectory. Despite some limitations, the model offers insights that can usefully guide and contribute to adapt its use in community interventions and as a harm reduction tool, conditional to the careful consideration of individuals’ needs and interpretation of their musical experiences.