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Group Therapy in Drug Treatment
If you suffer from an addiction to drugs, you know how hard this can be to overcome. In spite of what many people believe about drug addictions having to do with a character weakness or a failure to take responsibility for oneself, substance abuse is a legitimate medical condition. If someone is trying to overcome their addiction, they have to be willing to work very hard in order to do so. There are many ways that a person can overcome an addiction. The individual can opt for either individual therapy or group therapy. Both have their advantages, but there are many reasons why group therapy would be particularly advantageous for a person who is trying to overcome a substance abuse problem.
Sharing the Experience with Others
When trying to overcome any problem, one of the hardest feelings to deal with is the feeling that you are completely alone. It is hard to overcome your urges no matter what, but when you feel like no one can relate to what you are going through, it can make the process quite a bit worse. For this reason, it helps to be surrounded by people who are in the midst of the same process as you are or who have already gone through the process successfully. People who are currently trying to overcome their own substance abuse addictions can serve as emotional support for you as you battle your own addiction.
When you are interacting with other people who are going through the same thing, you can support one another and encourage one another through hard times. Many people who are dealing with substance abuse problems do not have families and friends who understand what they are going through; as a result, as much as these people may care, they are not capable of being supportive in the way that the individual needs. As such, he or she can strongly benefit from people who do understand exactly how hard it is to be dealing with this process. Having this type of empathy and support can be very beneficial to the individual as he or she works their way out of drug addiction.
Dealing with Emotional and Physical Pain
Recovering from a drug addiction is often not only emotionally painful, but physically painful as well. The effect for which you took the drugs in the first place was likely addictive, and when you stop taking the drugs, you will experience withdrawal symptoms that are often the exact opposite of the pleasurable effect that you experienced while taking the drug. These symptoms can be unpleasant, uncomfortable, and even downright painful. Of course, you need to go through this in order to recover, but there may be times when you feel like it is just too hard to follow through with the process. Having a support group full of people who are going through or have gone through the same process can help motivate you to continue to do the hard work that you need to do in order to beat the addiction. At times, you may be in so much pain that it seems that you will not be able to do this, and it is during these times when you will really benefit from having a team of people who are able to relate to your predicament and who will encourage you to keep on fighting no matter how hard it is.
Gaining Inspiration from Others Who Have Succeeded
Additionally, group therapy for drug treatment often involves the presence of people who have already overcome an addiction. These people can be very inspirational to someone who is currently struggling with the problem, as it will serve as proof that it is possible to overcome drug addiction. Seeing somebody who has beaten a substance abuse addiction and is now living a happy and productive life can serve as a strong motivator for a person who is trying to overcome an addiction.
Although there are many benefits to group therapy, it should usually be supplemented with individual therapy as well. People who have other mental conditions in addition to the substance abuse problem, such as depression, anxiety disorders, or bipolar disorder, would benefit from working one-on-one with a trained professional while also continuing regular attendance of group therapy sessions.