This paper reviews the efficacy and processes of change within group treatments for alcohol use disorders (AUD). Methodologically rigorous studies examining group treatment for interviewer-diagnosed AUD include evaluations of cognitive-behavioral group treatments that focus on skills for relapse prevention (i.e., coping skills training, coping and social skills training), interactional group therapy, combined pharmacological and group interventions, and group cue exposure treatment. Given the depth of research examining the efficacy of individual treatments for AUD there is a need for further development and evaluation of group treatments that include rigorous clinician-administered diagnostic assessment, implement a control group or active treatment comparison, randomly assign participants to condition, report the racial and ethnic composition of the sample, explore mediators and moderators of intervention efficacy, and implement a manualized treatment protocol. Evaluation of process variables within group treatments for AUD and well designed treatment development studies are also needed to better understand how well established individual treatments for alcohol use disorders can be adapted to function effectively in a group format.
Keywords: Treatment, alcohol use disorders, group, psychotherapy, interventions, evaluation, efficacy, therapy, review, substance use