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.
Patricia B. Santora is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Margaret L. Dowell is an adjunct professor of education and art at Mount Saint Mary's University and at Carroll Community College. Jack E. Henningfield is the vice president for research and health policy at Pinney Associates and an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is a coeditor, along with Santora and Warren K. Bickel, of Addiction Treatment: Science and Policy for the Twenty-first Century, also published by Johns Hopkins.