a group of people create a play as part of substance abuse group therapy activities

3 Examples Of Substance Abuse Group Therapy Activities

Group therapy is a cornerstone of treatment for substance use disorder. When combined with other elements of treatment like individual therapy and medication-assisted treatment, group therapy can provide mentoring opportunities that help sustain recovery. The right substance abuse group therapy activities can solidify the foundation that is needed to fully recover.

What Is Substance Abuse Group Therapy?

Substance abuse group therapy is led by a therapist with specialized training in the addiction field. Groups can be broken down into those solely for women, teens, men or some other characteristic.

In some cases, a group is devoted only to one particular type of substance such as alcohol or opioids. Other groups feature a range of individuals who are all struggling with substance use disorder.

Benefits Of Substance Abuse Group Therapy

There are a number of crucial benefits that an individual can experience by participating in group therapy devoted to substance abuse. Some of these benefits include the following:

Ability to share information

Taking part in group therapy gives participants the opportunity to share information with other people who have gone through similar issues.

Development of social support

Due to the tendency of individuals to hide their drug use and the fact that the behavior is still stigmatized, it can be a very lonely time. Developing social support from people who understand is crucial to recovery.


A sense of camaraderie and connection are vital human attributes that nearly everyone can benefit from. In many cases, substance abuse can fracture relationships with loneliness being the result. Group therapy helps offset that lonely feeling.

Learn from others

In most group therapy settings, there is a mix of participants who are at different stages of their recovery. Regardless of exactly where they are in their treatment plan, nearly everyone can learn something new from others. A fresh perspective, a solution that was never tried previously, or a resource that worked for others are all examples of the kind of information that can be shared during group therapy.

Substance Abuse Group Therapy Activities

No two substance abuse group therapy sessions are the same. They are often run by different addiction specialists and have varying participants. It’s important to realize that the below list of substance abuse group therapy activities is just a sampling of those items that could be part of a therapy session.

These include the following:

1. New member introduction

As one of the most popular substance abuse group therapy activities, new member introductions are designed to help them acclimate into the group more readily. By sharing their name and the reasons why they are in the group, some common ground is bound to be found with at least a few other members of the group.

2. Requests and questions

Another common substance abuse group therapy activity occurs when participants bring specific needs, requests, or questions up as the group is getting underway. These can include relapse concerns, relationship issues, treatment frustrations, and more. Inviting the group to reflect, strategize, and discuss the issue can help with recovery.

3. Triggers discussion

Being able to identify the triggers that can lead to further substance abuse is a key factor in recovery. When discussed in the group therapy setting, participants can receive guidance on how to figure out their specific triggers. In other cases, individuals might want to talk about how to cope with those triggers so they do lead to relapse.

At Promises Behavioral Health, our substance abuse group therapy sessions are designed to be supportive, productive, and safe places. Additionally, we also offer:

  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Couples counseling
  • EMDR therapy
  • cognitive processing therapy

Call us today at 844.875.5609 to learn more about how our comprehensive approach can assist in your recovery.

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