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Louisville Psychiatrist Explores Addiction Through Art

Submitted photo

A Louisville psychiatrist has taken his experience working with patients with substance abuse and turned it into art.

Dr. Keith Auerbach is the artist behind “Inside the Experience of Addiction: Photostories on Using, Abusing and Recovery,” now on display at Pyro Gallery on East Market Street.

The exhibit uses imagery and prose to express the emotions related to addiction and the road to recovery.

"The show is intentional in that it starts with using, abusing getting into the darker side of addictions—and then the decision to choose to do something differently and get into some sort of sobriety or recovery and finally your own redemption,” Auerbach said.

The exhibition consists of 25 photographs that Auerbach has taken over the years. The people in the images are only models, but he said one in particular had been affected by substance abuse previously unknown to him.

He took the woman's photograph 10 years ago and had only recently contacted her to let her know he'd finally be using it.

"I described the series and she said, 'Did you know my son is a recovering cocaine addict?' and I said no and she goes, 'You got me exactly,'" he said.

She went on to tell him she is apart of a support group for mother's with addictive sons.

Auerbach said people are spurred to seek treatment for their addiction when they are ready to face the truth.

“Wanting to be self-honest and wanting to no longer be hiding in the dark or keeping secrets and wanting a freedom for their spirit,” he said.

Auerbach said he hopes the project will engage more people in conversations about substance abuse and recovery.

The exhibit is on display until June 27.


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