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Substance Abuse Group Therapy Activities: What They Are and Why They Help

As part of your treatment for substance use disorder, you’ll engage in substance abuse group therapy activities. Some of these activities teach skill-building, others may focus on learning to be a team player. Regardless, group therapy activities such as these boost your recovery in positive ways.

What Are Substance Abuse Group Therapy Activities?

Substance abuse group therapy activities are tasks performed during your group therapy meetings. They’re designed to help you explore the triggers of your addiction and find positive ways to manage it. Consequently, these activities include a variety of tasks that your group leader may call upon you to perform.

1. Have an Open Discussion About Triggers

During this activity, each person in the group discusses the individual triggers that make them want to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. Consequently, by hearing what influences others, you may discover triggers of your own that you never realized existed. Common triggers in substance use disorder include:

  • Work stress
  • Relationship problems
  • Finances
  • Loss
  • Grief

By exploring the situations and circumstances that cause you to self-medicate, you can, as a result, find different ways of coping with them or even find ways to avoid them altogether.

2. Write Down the Things for Which You’re Thankful

In this group activity, participants begin a running list on a whiteboard or blackboard of the positive things in their lives. Accordingly, this helps you begin to think in shades of gray instead of stark black and white. The purpose of a gratitude list is to help you see that though some parts of your life are not going the way you would like, other parts are truly spectacular. After all, life is never all good or all bad. Rather, it’s a mix of the two. Things to be grateful for often include:

  • Supportive family members
  • Access to treatment
  • Waking up in the morning
  • Experiencing sunrises and sunsets
  • Having a job, marriage, or children to return to after treatment

There’s power in writing things down. Therefore, by making a list of everything for which you’re grateful, you may begin to feel better about facing your future.

3. Set Self-Care Goals and Share Them With the Group

Many people who suffer from substance use disorder have trouble with self-care. As a result, they often spend so much time looking out for others that they neglect their own needs. Substance abuse group therapy activities that involve setting and sharing goals help by keeping you accountable. Common goals for self-care might include:

  • Changing in and out of pajamas at night instead of sleeping in your clothes
  • Buying necessities for yourself such as socks and underwear
  • Having your hair professionally cut instead of cutting it yourself
  • Making time each day to exercise
  • Making time to attend support group meetings after treatment ends

Goals are powerful weapons in the battle against addiction. By setting and sharing them, you’ll realize just how much you have in common with your peers.

Substance Abuse Group Therapy Activities at Five Palms

Group therapy is an integral part of recovery at Five Palms. By listening to others and participating in a group yourself, you’ll discover that you’re not alone in your struggles. Isolation is always a part of addiction. Feeling as though there’s something wrong with you and feeling shame because of it can keep you caught in the cycle.

It’s through substance abuse group therapy activities that you begin to realize just how normal you really are. Millions of others are just like you, fighting the same cravings and battling the same demons daily. Once you realize this truth, you’re free to be kinder to and less critical of yourself.

If you’re ready to begin your recovery journey, contact Five Palms today at 1.844.675.1022. Together, we’ll ask questions and find answers to a brighter future.

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