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Convincing an Introvert to Participate in Group Programming

A person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol can feel isolated from friends and family members. When that person is an introvert, the feeling of being alone can be intensified even if the individual prefers to not interact with others. However, in addiction treatment and in recovery, the support of others can be incredibly beneficial. It can be challenging for an introvert to participate in group programming, but the success of their recovery could very well depend on it.

Isolation in Addiction

It is not uncommon for someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol to damage their relationships with friends and family members, spiraling into a lonely life that is focused on when and where they’ll get their next drink or drug. The result is usually that they cut off their positive support system.

In turn, isolation and loneliness can actually a play role in addiction. People who experience increased social isolation tend to experience more substance use and mental health issues. The cycle can continue, feeding itself, until the individual seeks help and gets treatment for their addiction.

How Does Group Support Help?

Everyone, including introverts, needs social support. A structured support group, in particular, can help a person feel like part of something greater, as they are made to feel welcome and important. When someone is recovering from an addiction, connecting with others in a meaningful way, especially with others who are recovering addiction themselves, can help reduce the urge to use drugs or alcohol again.

Participating in a support system, such as the group programming associated with addiction treatment, can provide a sense of purpose, an increased sense of feeling good without the use of substances such as drugs and alcohol, and the reassurance that there are many other people going through the same challenges and are experiencing successes in their addiction recovery.

Why Connection Matters

Connecting with other people is part of human nature. Introverts connect with others in their own way, even though they are typically not as outwardly sociable in their actions. Pressure and influence from others have been found to be integral to many choices people make in life, including the choice of whether to use drugs or alcohol.

While peer pressure may have led an individual to make risky choices, connecting with other people may also create a positive effect. Participating in group programming, for example, can help people who are challenged by their drug use and other choices in life. For people recovering from addiction, understanding that their social connections can help them overcome the disease can bring a lot of hope into their lives as well.

Engaging as an Introvert

An introvert tends to enjoy solitude, focusing more on internal thoughts, moods, and feelings instead of external stimulation. Even though everyone, introverts and extroverts, can benefit from support group interactions, introverts usually find that they have to expend extra energy in such social situations. They may even feel a need to recharge, by spending time alone, after participating in group programming.

The question is, how can an introvert participate when they feel detached and may even prefer to be alone? The first step is to understand the importance of a support group and other group programming to the treatment and recovery process.

The next step is to become comfortable in the group setting. Even if the only thing the individual says during the session is “I’m an introvert and I don’t want to say anything, and that’s all I wanted say,” that’s a step forward.

Over time, the setting will become more familiar, and the individual will feel more welcomed, more of an active participant in the group rather than an observer. Working with the group facilitator to manage expectations ahead of time can also help the introvert gain the most out of the support group as they work toward their successful recovery.


We understand your struggle with addiction. We also know that it can be challenging for an introvert to fully participate in group programming as part of addiction treatment. The professional team at BRC Recovery is here to help you with the addiction treatment you need to recreate and reclaim your life as well as with developing life skills. Contact the professionals at BRC Recovery when you are ready for real change for your life. We offer proven treatment options for your addiction.

At BRC Recovery, we understand the stresses you are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. We offer a safe, clean environment so you can continue receiving the highest quality of care. To learn more about our services and to get the help you need, please call BRC Recovery at 1-866-291-2676 to speak to our team.