There are many varieties of drug abuse counseling, but there is perhaps no greater contrast between two varieties of drug abuse treatment than between the varieties of drug abuse therapy known as individual counseling and group counseling. The reasons that compel each and every individual to go out and seek drug abuse treatment are as varied as there are people in the world, and so every person will have their own needs and requirements that will make them suitable for one form of counseling over another. Individualized counseling refers to a form of substance abuse treatment that involves the addict sitting one on one with a counselor who will provide the addict with a program based on the 12 step program that is tailored to the needs of the individual. Because the sessions are one on one the counselor will be able to go more in depth with the user and their problems than they would otherwise in a group session. The settings can focus not only on the drug addiction itself but underlying factors and habits that contribute to the emergence of drug abuse in the individual. This level of detail is not quite as possible in a group setting because there is a finite amount of time allotted for sessions, and the focus of the counselor has to be diluted over a great many people.
However, addicts will derive a great amount of benefit from having a peer group that is steeped in similar experiences and struggles. This kind of social reinforcement is something that cannot be found in individualized counseling. The benefits of community cannot be understated as one of the most insidious aspects of substance abuse is the fact that it isolates the individual from their wider environment and pushes them further onto the road to perdition. A holistic approach to treatment will ideally involve a combination of both approaches as together they will compliment one another.