At Art Sphere workshops, participants often talk about a benefit in making art: when you are expressing yourself, there is less need to accumulate needless stuff. Instead of filling time by shopping, participants start discovering other creative venues.
Interestingly, Marion Woodman, a Jungian therapist and writer, also talks about addiction and its relationship to the planet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3h4n-_NEgU
She even talks about healing a culture that has money for new prisons yet takes away the arts from children! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-q9Re6YD22M