The Importance of Group Therapy in Substance Abuse Treatment

Group Therapy for Substance Abuse - Freedom From Addiction

According to a report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, only 11.2% of Americans needing treatment for substance abuse in 2009 received it at a specialized treatment facility. This means that of the 23.5 million people needing freedom from addiction, 20.9 million either utilized general help not specialized substance abuse treatment or gained no help, at all.

Group Therapy for Substance Abuse Treatment

For those unable to gain access to specialized treatment, a good alternative is group therapy. Therapy within a group setting also proves highly beneficial as a supplement to other forms of treatment within a specialized facility. For another vulnerable group, those seeking treatment but wait-listed for community-supported facilities, therapy among multiple peers can mean survival while they wait for much-needed help. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) agrees that this type of multiple-party therapy is very helpful to substance abusers. Beyond its therapeutic benefits, therapy conducted among small groups provides peer support and economy of scale. Affordability for communities can mean increased programs with greater capacity toward freedom from addiction for multiple participants.

Protocols for Group-Conducted Substance Abuse Treatment

To aid in development of more productive programs for treatment of individuals seeking alleviation of drug or alcohol dependence, SAMHSA has developed specific training and program guidelines for providers. Called a Treatment Improvement Protocol, or TIP, this set of guidelines may be one key to unlocking more pathways for addicts to regain control of their lives. When conducted effectively, group treatment has benefits that individual therapy sessions do not. Many believe that these benefits often even outweigh those of one-on-one counseling. Such inherent benefits of group-focused treatment are the reason why the TIP protocols were developed. Quality programs will bring increased success for those desiring recovery. Some benefits of group treatment benefits include:

  • A culture of recovery is created with affiliation, support and peer confrontation among group members
  • Participants are able to bond with people at the same phase of recovery
  • Group modalities prove highly beneficial in treating depression, anxiety, isolation and other problems accompanying addiction
  • Participants are mutually supportive in times of need
  • A higher level of creativity and insight exists within groups
  • Healthy attachments are formed in a venue well-suited to fostering social skills

Beyond treatment attributes, group environments have proven effective for recovery. Studies indicate that the higher the quality, amount and duration of this type of substance abuse treatment, the more likely the addict is to remain clean throughout his or her lifetime.

Group Therapy for Freedom From Addiction

Group therapy is a widely available form of substance abuse treatment. The vast majority of specialized addiction treatment facilities incorporate group settings into every patient's recovery. Gaining access to such treatment can mean freedom from addiction with greater success toward permanent sobriety. If you would like more information about group therapy, contact Freedom From Addiction. We can help you.

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