Ice breakers for alcoholics & addicts in treatment

Written by tanya brown
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Ice breakers for alcoholics & addicts in treatment
Ice breakers help group members get comfortable with each other. (Paul Sutherland/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

The Drug Rehabilitation Center Recovery Helpline reports that more than 12 million Americans suffer from addiction. Each year, thousands of addicts seek treatment for alcohol and substance abuse. Treatment is often done in a group setting. Alcoholics and addicts undergoing group therapy are generally nervous and apprehensive about receiving treatment. Icebreakers are designed to ease this anxiety and help group members relax. They provide a space where members can support each other in a positive setting.

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Four Facts

Give each group member a sheet of paper and a pencil. Break the group into pairs and allow each pair 10 minutes to interview each other. During the interview session, each member must give four facts about their lives. Three of the facts will be true and one will be false. Once each member is interviewed, have the entire group sit in a circle. Group members will introduce their partners, disclose their four facts, and guess which one of the four facts is false.

The Map Game

Place a large map in front of the meeting room. Sit a box of colourful pushpins next to the map. Starting with the meeting facilitator, have each individual stick a pushpin into the area of the map where they were born and every place that they have lived. After placing the pushpins into the map, members will recite their names and will briefly talk about their hometown. If they lived in many places, ask where their favourite place to live is and why.

Share A Song

Share a song is an activity that gives group members the opportunity to share their feelings, thoughts and emotions through song. This icebreaker is designed for a second or third group meeting, after initial introductions have been made. Group members will select a song that expresses something about themselves or their lives. The song can be on any topic, including substance abuse, physical abuse, support, overcoming challenges, family and love. Each group member will play their song or recite its lyrics. After sharing, members will tell why they chose the song and how it relates to their lives.

Toilet Paper Game

With the group members sitting in a circle, pass around a roll of toilet paper and tell each member to take between two and five sheets. Once each member has their paper, have them individually state their name, place of birth and one fact about themselves for each toilet paper square that they took. As each member gets a chance to recite their facts, they may also talk about what they have in common with other group members.

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