Addiction is frequently found within the arts community because many traits that lead to addiction are also traits that lead to creative, artistic abilities. These traits are not healthy or unhealthy inherently, but rather can be used for healthy purposes or unhealthy purposes. When people apply these traits to goals and purposeful endeavors, such as art creation, they are using them in a healthy way. But when they apply them to indulging in an addiction, they are using them in an unhealthy way. There are several addictions that are notably particular to the arts community.
Alcohol is a very common addiction among artists. A majority of alcoholics adopt their addiction in an attempt to self medicate. Alcohol is known for numbing the mind and alleviating it of thoughts. Emotions remain and often increase, but the burden of troubled thinking is lifted. This offers many people temporary relief from negative thought patterns that they do not know how to cope with otherwise. Unfortunately, this is also why it is so addictive: it is a false, easy way of coping with problems.
Street drugs are another common addiction in the arts community. Drug use represents a different side of an artist’s personality: the experimental side. Artists are naturally experimental because art is born of experimentation. This leads artists to try new things so that they can expand the limits of their minds and experience a completely alternate perspective on the world. This tendency can be harmful when experimentation leads to addiction. In seeking new perspectives and realities, artists often discover something they cannot stop coming back to and it begins to take over their lives.
And lastly, an addiction to sex is another problem behavior that many artists struggle with. Sex is often embraced as a liberating act by artists. Free sex often represents liberation from power structures or moral hierarchies and much of the arts community does not believe in restricting sex. This can become problematic for some though. Sex is equally as pleasurable as alcohol and drugs, and many people cannot resist its charms. Sex addiction is capable of ruining lives, reputations, relationships and careers.