How Does Group Therapy Benefit Former Users During the Recovery Process

Last Updated: Feb 24th 2020

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky

When you enter a drug rehab program, the first step is to detox. The detoxification takes away the mental focus on drugs and opens up for sober education on how to defeat addiction. Nevertheless, it can be difficult for each individual who is trying to recover from their addictions to find the wisdom they need to succeed. For these people, having the opportunity to discuss specific issues with their peers and former users who have beat their addictions is a God-sent. Group therapy provides a variety of viewpoints and life experiences to create a mosaic picture of what the path to recovery looks like. It is hard for some people with heavy addictions to even imagine how they will cope with all the temptations and lifestyle changes. 

Group therapy also helps former users build friendships and bonds that ease the burden on them when they are forced to turn a cold shoulder on former drug friends. One of the focuses of substance abuse treatment in Florida is for former users to rebuild their lives with constructive activities that fill the recreational void in their lives. If former users focus on becoming athletic or developing rewarding hobbies and career goals, they will stand the strongest when faced with temptations. This is because they have a lot of developed lifestyle choices that would deteriorate if they returned to their former habits. 

Group Therapy Helps Relieve Stress 

Stress is the number one cause for former users to return to their old habits. When the daily stresses become overwhelming, it is easy to give up and feel dissatisfied with the sober life. These are the ups and downs, the curve balls of life and depressive states, that are a normal part of healing. When you have the wisdom of friends who have fallen off the wagon or share stories of how they conquered these situations in an aftercare program, you are armed with the knowledge to stand strong, no matter what life has to throw at you. 

Learn from the Mistakes of Others 

For some people in group therapy, they may share how they let themselves fall into temptation by associating with former friends. It starts off innocently enough, when they try to catch up with them for old times sake, until they have a party they are going to and invite you to come. Once you go to the party, it is difficult to stand your ground when marijuana smoke is already in the air, and everyone is pressuring you to join in. A life lesson that many former users have to learn is that it is hard to hang onto former friends. Their lifestyle choices will put them in precarious positions. The mentality of drug friends will subvert the former user’s disgust for drugs and the repugnance they feel by taking it lightly. 

Former drug friends can also land you in trouble with the law. They may drop pills or paraphernalia in your vehicle. You may find yourself in the passenger seat of someone who is intoxicated. The stigma of being guilty by association can land you in legal trouble and cause sober contacts to shun you. Group therapy is such a critical part of the rehab process and is incredibly valuable to those looking toward a life of sobriety.

Contact us today to learn more.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.