Games & Activities for Alcoholism & Drug Abuse

Alcoholism and drug abuse are difficult to overcome. Even those who successfully stay straight must constantly practice managing their addiction. Games and activities can help motivate drug abusers and alcoholics to curtail their addictions, but they require a willingness to acknowledge the problem and seek help.

Meet the Group

When beginning group therapy, the therapist will want group members to be comfortable with each other. Group members should each be assigned one fact to find out about other members. Examples could include their age, what causes them stress, or any other fact that the therapist assigns, The object of this game is to be the first person to obtain the needed information from all group members and sit down. Each member gets paper, a pencil, and is told to mingle and interview other group members. As group members finish, they join the winner and eventually each person shares what he has learned.

In another game, group members hold hands in a manner which makes them tangled. The object of the game is to get untangled without letting go. Group members are forced to work together to succeed in their mission.

Identify Dangerous Situations Game

The therapist will assign two or three people a place or activity to act out in charade style for the rest of the group. Each charade group will be predetermined and when a member of the group correctly guesses the scenario, his group will act out the next scenario. By the end of the game, participants should have a clear list of activities and places that are more likely to tempt them to abuse substances. The game can be followed up with some strategies for resisting temptation when in those situations.

Resistance Role Playing Game

Therapist will hold four cards that say either quitter or abuser. Four people will each draw a card. Abusers will do their best to convince quitters to use a substance. If either quitter is convinced, the abusers win, but only abusers will know that they need only convince one quitter to win the game. Therapist will evaluate strategies for five or ten minutes and then a new group will play. After all players have had a turn, strategies will be discussed with the group.

Educational Activities

Watch movies and read books that reinforce the dangers of substance abuse. Attend motivational lectures or even arrange meetings with abusers who have physically injured themselves or others and are suffering from the consequences. Watch movies or videotapes of people undergoing stressful situations. Turn off the video and discuss ways the scenario could be handled without drugs or alcohol.

Other Activities

Abusers should constantly be made aware of alternate ways to confront problems. Family members, therapists, psychologists and support groups can help by organizing activities that keep their minds off substance abuse. In some situations, discussions with a private therapist may be the best activity to help a substance abuser.