Substance abuse support groups, like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, are designed to promote recovery in a healthy, supportive environment. Struggling addicts gather frequently and regularly to discuss their progress, keep each other accountable and socialize in a safe space far away from the temptation of drugs and alcohol. Stimulating games and activities go a long way toward strengthening interpersonal dynamics and benefiting all who attend group gatherings.
Trust-building games position players in a way that maximizes interdependence. To conduct trust falls, pair participants up and have them take turns leaning backward into the open arms of their partners. Knowing you'll be caught before you fall to the ground requires a generous measure of trust. For a fun variation on the game, have everyone stand in a circle shoulder-to-shoulder around a single person in the middle, who should remain as stiff as possible and keep his eyes shut. The player in the middle should trust the others to pass him gently pack and forth, bouncing him to and fro around the area within the circle. Players should verbalize their commitment to catching the player in the middle without letting him fall. Play these trust games outside on the grass to prevent injury.
Those in recovery from addiction often deal with the fallout of broken relationships with friends and family, abandoned promises and elusive personal goals. Have members sit down and write out intimate letters addressed to themselves or to loved ones affected by their harmful addictions. The goal should be to put into words the emotions they formerly suppressed by using mind-altering substances. This will be a highly challenging and emotional activity for those who haven't gone very far into the self-discovery process yet. Encourage brutal honesty and openness among the participants, and praise anyone who volunteers to share the contents of his letter.
Arts and Crafts
Group art can be a thoroughly enjoyable, constructive and therapeutic way to channel energy and frustration into expressive creativity. Facilitate a day of drawing, have the group make collages using photos, magazines and construction paper or encourage the group members to make cards and personal tokens for loved ones affected by the fallout of substance abuse. Encourage free expression and unlimited exploration during the activity; this is a great way for group members to deal with complex, abstract emotions in a healthy way.
Show and Tell
Have attendees bring in personal artifacts, like diaries, music, books or jewelry, to present to the group along with a story from the past. The story can be about a fond childhood memory or a painful letdown, a recent triumph over temptation or a long-lost friend. This activity will provoke a range of emotions from laughter to cleansing bouts of sobbing, due to the diversity of the group's members and their personal experiences. Sincerely thank and encourage everyone who chooses to participate.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Ideas and Activities for Substance Abuse Group Therapy
The purpose of substance abuse group therapy is to empower the recovering individual to resist drug or alcohol abuse by acquiring a...
Alcohol & Drug Counseling Topics & Activities for Groups
Rehabilitation and counseling are crucial for anyone overcoming addiction and dependency to drugs and alcohol. A major part of this is alcohol...
Substance Abuse Recovery Games
Using games in the mix of your substance abuse recovery program can help get patients engaged. Games can get recovery patients to...
Ideas & Plans for Substance Abuse Groups
Substance abuse groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous help recovering individuals to resist drugs and alcohol through group gatherings, group...
Topics for Substance Abuse Groups
Substance abuse affects over 3 million people in the United States and can lead to a myriad of problems. Consequences of substance...
Games & Activities for Alcoholism & Drug Abuse
Alcoholism and drug abuse are difficult to overcome. Even those who successfully stay straight must constantly practice managing their addiction. Games and...
Group-Therapy Games for Drug Addiction
Group therapy is something that is offered in most drug and alcohol rehab programs. Games can be therapeutic in these settings. It...
Substance Abuse Treatment Group Exercises
Group treatment is a great addition to individual and family therapy for teens and adults who use substances. It's a good way...