3418 Public Works Drive, (PressExposure) May 12, 2009 -- Alcoholism is one of the many problems that we face today. Adolescents are becoming more susceptible to this form of addiction. Because of this, therapists, doctors, and psychologists alike have formulated several methods and approaches to stop and cure a teenager of his/her alcoholism. One popular combination for adolescent alcohol treatment is the use of alcohol detoxification then group therapy.
The Good of Alcohol Detoxification
Alcohol detoxification, or detox, for individuals with alcohol dependence, is the abrupt cessation of alcohol intake coupled with the substitution of alcohol with cross-tolerant drugs that have similar effects in order to prevent alcohol withdrawal. The group of benzodiazepines is the most common family of drugs used for this, followed by barbiturates. Detoxification treats the physical effects of prolonged use of alcohol, but does not actually treat alcoholism. After detox is complete, relapse is likely without further treatment. These rehabilitations, or 'rehabs', may take place in an inpatient or outpatient setting. One popular approach after an alcohol detoxification is group therapy.
The Good of Group Therapy
After detoxification, various forms of group therapy can be used to deal with underlying psychological issues that are related to alcohol addiction, as well as provide relapse prevention skills. This is a form of psychotherapy in which one or more therapists treat a small group of clients together as a group. One form of popular group therapy as adolescent alcohol treatment is the Twelve-Step Program founded by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
There are several reasons as to why group therapies are successful for treating alcoholism, especially for teenagers. One popular reason is altruism. The group is a place where members can help each other, and the experience of being able to give something to another person can lift the member's self esteem and help develop more adaptive coping styles and interpersonal skills.
Another popular reason why group therapy is popular as adolescent alcohol treatment is because it can instill hope to its members. In a mixed group which has members at various stages of development or recovery, a member can be inspired and encouraged by another member who has overcome the problems that they are still struggling with.
Group therapy has been reported to be effective in psychotic and recovering adolescent addicts. Projective group therapy uses an outside text such as a novel or motion picture to provide a "stable delusion" for the former cohort and a safe focus for repressed and suppressed emotions or thoughts in the latter. Under the guidance of the therapist, defense mechanisms are bypassed by the use of signifiers and semiotic processes. The focus remains on the text rather than on personal issues.