Many people who end up in substance use disorder treatment centers find themselves essentially alone. If they had relationships, their addictive behavior has severed them maybe even beyond repair. If they do have friends, it’s a high probability those friends are more like acquaintances that help find more substance to use. Sometimes, even family members will become estranged because the behaviors of an addict will more often than not break bonds of trust that typically hold a family together.
When a person enters substance use disorder treatment for their addiction, one strong aspect of a holistic approach to the recovery process involves group and family therapy. A person struggling with addiction often withdraws into themselves as a protective measure, reinforced by society’s ever-present view of drug abuse being a complete moral failure on the individual’s part. It certainly becomes more difficult to bond with other people, especially if they aren’t dealing with the same internal struggle and that struggle isn’t seen universally as an illness.
By participating in group therapy sessions, a person is in the company with others who at some level have experienced the similar feelings of isolation that comes with substance abuse, it can be very reaffirming to have understanding reflected from another person. This doesn’t necessarily mean everyone that a person might meet in group sessions will immediately become best friends for life, but it helps with being more honest about the condition. Going through the practice, so to speak, can be therapeutic itself, being honest with other people about the experiences of substance use disorder.
Even though it is not guaranteed you will make friends, a comradery of survival can develop between group members. It’s also encouraged, sometimes required, that a patient take on a sponsor, a person which will always be there for support who stays available long after the initial treatment period. In addition, sometimes the comradery that forms in a group through shared experiences can develop in a support network that exists long after the last day of treatment proper. The sponsor and other group members become one of many tools and methods for resisting relapse.
When participating in a group therapy session, it’s not always required to share and the amount of detail and personal experiences shared should be as comfortable as possible, but it’s definitely encouraged. The comfort of sharing can be non-existent in the beginning, but sharing and talking about feelings and experiences are often considered therapeutic, even if they’re with what might be complete strangers. Sometimes, just saying things out loud allows putting events into perspective; hearing events from a real life voice, even your own, is different from hearing that in your mind. And hearing people acknowledge that those things have happened in turn can help process these events which kicks off the real healing process.
Finding alcohol rehab and drug rehab in NJ can begin with calling the top rated drug rehab center, Discovery Institute, at 844-478-6563.
Dr. Joseph Ranieri D.O. earned his BS in Pharmacy at Temple University School of Pharmacy in 1981 and His Doctorate Degree in Osteopathic Medicine at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1991. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and a Diplomate of the American Board of Preventive Medicine Addiction Certification. Dr. Ranieri has lectured extensively to physicians, nurses, counselors and laypeople about the Disease of Addiction throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania since 2012.