diagnosis: Substance-Use Disorders


Substance use disorder (SUD) is a problem affecting a large portion of the global population. Approximately 46.3 million Americans aged 12 or older met the applicable DSM-5 criteria for having a substance use disorder in 2020 (NSDUH, 2021). Group therapy is one of the most common approaches in SUD treatment settings. We included evidence-based group treatments which were selected based on the results of recent reviews and meta-analysis examining the efficacy of group therapy as the primary treatment for patients with SUD (Lo Coco et al., 2019; Lopez et al., 2021). To be included, group therapy needed research evidence from randomized controlled trials demonstrating its efficacy to reduce substance use or addressing behaviors related to substance use. We did not address non-treatment groups, such as peer and mutual support groups.

Although the high rates of co-occurrence of a mental illness and a SUD, at this stage we only included studies which examined the efficacy of group treatment for SUDs.

Although some of the resources included consists of individual theoretical approaches, these materials can be adapted to manual-based group therapies.


Lo Coco, G., Melchiori, F., Oieni, V., Infurna, M. R., Strauss, B., Schwartze, D., Rosendahl, J., & Gullo, S. (2019). Group treatment for substance use disorder in adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized-controlled trials. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment99, 104–116. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2019.01.016

López, G., Orchowski, L. M., Reddy, M. K., Nargiso, J., & Johnson, J. E. (2021). A review of research-supported group treatments for drug use disorders. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy16(1), 51. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13011-021-00371-0

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2022). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP22-07-01-005, NSDUH Series H-57). Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/report/2021-nsduh-annual-national-report