Art is a great way to communicate experiences and feelings that are difficult to explain with words. Artist Lucas Joel Mcauley became homeless and alienated from family and friends due to co-occurring mental health issues and opioid addiction. Once he entered rehabilitation his painting became an essential part of his recovery and continues to aid him in his sobriety.

Lucas Joel Macauley’s Substance Misuse Problem

In 2011, Macauley was prescribed morphine after a motorcycle accident. His underlying health issues and pressure to create great art drove him to an opioid addiction. Macauley’s life gradually crumbled as a result of his dependency on the drug. He lost his car, his home, and worst of all, his relationships. He remembered selling his car for drugs only to realize that, as a result, he had nowhere to sleep. 

Lucas Joel Macauley Entering Recovery

Macauley spent two and a half months in rehab. During that time, he created more than 100 paintings that helped him gain understanding of his addiction. By painting, Macauley felt he was opening a window to his mind, his past, his memories, and his pain. He wanted his artwork to reflect his truth. Each canvas contains words and phrases that convey how people judge those who live on the streets. By looking at his work, it is easy to understand the pain and alienation he felt while living on the fringes of society – alone, faceless, and misunderstood. Releasing these emotions through his painting was therapeutic. The act of creating this evocative was the friend and psychologist Macauley needed to achieve recovery. 

How Lucas Joel Macauley is Doing Now

Macauley’s art continues to play a major role in his ongoing recovery. He hopes that, through his artwork, people will learn more about and love themselves. He also hopes his painting will help others change their attitudes about homelessness and addiction and develop more compassion for those who are suffering. While progress is being made, stigmas still exist against those living with addiction and mental health issues. Macauley’s story is one of many of those who have struggled with addiction that led them down a dark path. He hopes his art will help build a bridge to increase understanding. 


Addiction can rob you of the things you hold most dear – your home, your job, your possessions, and your loved ones. Alta Loma Transitional Living can help you overcome your addiction and return to a healthy and fulfilling life. We offer a support-filled environment where men with dual diagnoses receive the personalized care they cannot find elsewhere. Every individual is unique and deserves a unique care plan. Artist Lucas Joel Macauley’s painting played an essential role in his recovery. Our team of compassionate experts will help you find the tools you need to achieve the emotional and psychological stability that will lead to healthy independence. At Alta Loma’s Georgetown, Texas facility, art therapy and numerous other treatment options are available to create a positive impact on your life. Alta Loma recognizes that you do not have to be alone in your addiction recovery. To find out more about what Alta Loma offers, please call at (866) 457-3843.