The reason why treatment is so important for recovery is because addiction is a complex disease that alters your brain chemistry and impairs your judgment. Evidence-based treatments, like group therapy, help improve your ability to cope with your symptoms. Among the benefits of group therapy is that it strengthens your problem-solving skills.
If you’re struggling with a substance abuse disorder or addiction, you’re not alone. 1 out of 7 Americans will develop a substance abuse disorder in their lifetime and more than 20 million Americans battle an addiction each year. Even though addiction impacts millions annually, only 10% of people struggling with a substance abuse disorder complete treatment.
How Addiction Works
Addiction is defined as compulsively abusing drugs despite wanting to stop and dealing with harmful consequences as a result of your use. As the stages of addiction progress, your brain becomes dependent on your substance of choice in order to release neurotransmitters. Your brain also associates everything that reminds you of your substance of choice with pleasure. Many substances can also cause physical dependence, which results in intense withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop using.
Your brain chemistry is also impacted during addiction, as your pleasure and reward center positively reinforces your substance use by only releasing neurotransmitters when you use. When your tolerance to your substance of choice increases, you have to continue using higher amounts in order to experience intoxication. A growing tolerance can lead to you spending the majority of your money on your substance of choice, which can cause serious financial problems.
Since addiction is expensive and also impairs your judgment, you’re more likely to engage in dangerous or illegal behaviors, especially if your drug tolerance increases. When you prioritize your drug use over other obligations, like work or school, it can negatively impact various areas of your life. Addiction can also worsen underlying mental health and medical conditions.
The Benefits of Group Therapy
During treatment, rehabs use a variety of evidence-based and holistic therapies. Group therapy programs, which are an evidence-based treatment, are one of the most effective ways to improve your communication skills during recovery. Many of the benefits of group therapy involve learning how to share your thoughts and feelings with others. Finding healthy ways to express negative emotions is an important step during your recovery.
Understanding that you have a strong support network is one of the major benefits of group therapy. During recovery, peer-led support groups like AA and NA can ensure you have positive people to rely on when you experience cravings or encounter triggers. Sharing your concerns with others can also combat stress and anxiety, which are both common triggers.
Some other benefits of group therapy include:
- Improves critical thinking skills
- Creates a safe place to share troubling thoughts or feelings
- Offers a supportive, recovery-focused environment
- Improves your social skills
Exploring Your Treatment Options Today
If you’re struggling with an addiction, you can feel frustrated, isolated, and overwhelmed. Treatment offers you the ability to learn the skills and tools you need to beat addiction. To learn more about the benefits of group therapy or to explore your treatment options, contact our addiction experts today at 855.786.1978.