Substance use disorder treatment centers use a variety of therapeutic approaches to help patients reinforce their sobriety. One approach that’s been proven effective is psychoeducation for addiction treatment. Psychoeducation provides information, awareness and support, and it’s used together with other group-based and individual therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy.
When psychoeducational groups are used as one part of a comprehensive treatment plan, it increases the chances of long-term recovery. Research shows that psychoeducation for addiction treatment does produce positive effects.1
How Psychoeducation for Addiction Treatment Works
Knowledge is power, and psychoeducation aims to empower people in treatment to overcome their addictions through education. Psychoeducational groups inform clients and their loved ones about substance abuse, addictive behaviors and its consequences. A psychoeducational group works within a structured framework that presents specific content, which can be in the form of videos, audio recordings or lectures.2
A group leader starts and keeps the discussion going about the topic at hand. Typically, the topics presented in psychoeducational groups directly apply to the participants’ lives, such as:
- Instilling self‐awareness
- Exploring options for growth and change
- Identifying other resources that can assist patients in recovery, such as meditation, relaxation skills, spiritual development and healthy eating
- Understanding the process of recovery
- Encouraging people struggling with a substance use disorder to take action to help themselves
- Educating loved ones on addiction and recovery
Benefits of Psychoeducation for Addiction Treatment
Psychoeducation teaches clients and their families about the nature of substance abuse, its treatment, coping and management strategies and the skills needed to avoid relapse.
Complex Topics Explained in Simple Language: Addiction is a complex and chronic brain disease that has complicated mental, physical and social effects. Psychoeducation provides an understanding of addiction in simple language.
Possible Impairments Are Accommodated: Psychoeducational curriculum is also mindful of the possible cognitive and neurological impairments patients can experience from substance use. Group leaders make sure that the materials presented can be easily understood.3
Life Challenges Are Addressed: Another benefit of psychoeducation for addiction treatment is that it prepares patients for the challenges that life after treatment can bring, such as dealing with stigma. Post-treatment life can be stressful, and psychoeducation provides valuable information that helps relieve worry and anxiety.
De-stigmatization: People in addiction treatment sometimes feel guilt and shame from the social stigmas that surround addiction. Psychoeducation assures clients that addiction is a chronic, treatable disease; it’s not a moral failing or a sign of poor character.
Open Discussions: Psychoeducation for addiction treatment provides an opportunity for patients and their loved ones to ask questions. Topics that are typically discussed in psychoeducation include medications, stress, alcohol and drug use and coping skills that affect recovery.
Psychoeducation as Part of Your Rehab Plan
Psychoeducation is a proven method of helping you recognize the problems of substance use, and it helps improve the odds of maintaining long-term recovery.4 Participating in psychoeducational groups provides you with the information to support your efforts in establishing and maintaining abstinence, while guiding you to more productive life choices.