The tendency to isolate is a common characteristic among addicts and alcoholics in recovery but substance abuse group activities aim to change this habit. Isolation is a dangerous place for anyone with substance dependence. It’s an even greater risk for those in early recovery from their addiction or alcoholism.

Living in active substance abuse leads to many dangerous coping mechanisms. People learn to rely upon these behaviors after months or years of using. Breaking these unhealthy routines takes time but addiction treatment centers keep this goal at the forefront.

They use all kinds of methods to teach new patterns of thought and behavior, from therapy to substance abuse group activities.These group activities encourage the exact opposite of isolation. They usually require clients to work together and coexist.

Are you on the hunt for some great group activities for your facility or a group you run? Keep reading to find out 10 of the top substance abuse group activities to try out.

1. Ropes course

Rope courses might easily take the place for the most classic group activity of all. Many areas around the United States offer outdoor ropes courses your group can use. A ropes course involves a set of high or low physical obstacles requiring a group to work together. They challenge people and encourage them to step outside of their comfort zones. This makes them one of the best options for substance abuse group activities.

Rope Course

2. Scavenger hunt

If you have the staff and resources to stage a scavenger hunt, this could be one of the most fun substance abuse group activities. Break your group up into smaller groups with a staff member on each team to keep an eye out. Bring clients to a location where you can keep track of them like an indoor mall. Create a list of items to bring back and send the groups out!

3. Escape room

Escape rooms are a newer activity but require a massive amount of teamwork. They place groups of 2 to 6 people in a themed room where they need to work together. The groups must solve a puzzle within a certain amount of time to “escape” the room.

Escape Room

4. Go kart racing

Go kart racing encourages friendly competition between individuals. Ultimately it’s one of those substance abuse group activities that are incredibly fun. Who doesn’t love racing a kart around a track as fast as possible?

5. Nature days

Research shows that spending time in nature offers a holistic way to treat elements of depression and anxiety. No matter where you live, there are places in nature to take your clients as one of your substance abuse group activities. Coastal areas have their beaches, Florida has the Everglades, Colorado offers the beautiful Rocky Mountain Range, and Hawaii provides an endless amount of outdoor activities. Bring your group out to explore some beautiful outdoor scenes and breathe in some fresh air.

6. Hikes

When you take your group out for a nature day, leading a group hike is a great idea. It keeps your clients active and engaged in their surroundings. Depending on your group, it also encourages conversation and appreciation for one another. There isn’t much else to do on a hike except talk and look around. Hiking is a great way to get your clients to interact more.

Akaka Falls client HIR

7. Talent show

Active substance abuse pulls people away from the things they once loved to do. Whether it’s playing an instrument, writing poems or stories, singing, or something else, most people lose their passion for these activities. They have the opportunity to return to these things they loved when in recovery. Hosting a talent show gives your group the chance to practice and showcase their talents. It also motivates them to step outside their comfort zones!

Group Therapy
Group Therapy

Group therapy is a key component of a comprehensive addiction treatment program. What does this modality entail and how can you find group therapy near you?

More info

8. Movie night

Sometimes a simple movie night is a great way to bring your group together. You can take them out to a movie theater or hold one at your facility or sober living. Give clients the option to select the movie themselves! You could also set it up as a weekly activity where each person gets the chance to pick their favorite movie.

9. Sports

It’s difficult to showcase athletic ability in a talent show so taking your group out to play sports gives athletic clients their time to shine. You could host a softball or kickball game, a volleyball match, or a game of tag-up basketball. Even if you simply offer the sports equipment for a small group of clients to use, they can bond over their favorite sports.

Running is great to fight depression

10. Group therapy

Group therapy is one of the most classic substance abuse group activities. If your group isn’t at least somewhat comfortable with each other first, though, they won’t make much progress. Try using a few of the activities above to first bring them together. You might find notice more productive results from group therapy after clients bond over some of these activities.


Group Activities in Addiction Therapy

If you’re looking for addiction treatment and worried about the group activity aspect, you aren’t alone. Nearly every person seeking treatment prefers to spend time alone rather than with a group. Hawaii Island Recovery understands where you’re coming from. Our staff works with you to ease you into working with your group. Are you interested in learning more about the group activities we offer? Give us a call at 877-721-3556 to speak with an admissions counselor!