Family therapy for addiction is one of the important treatment programs for you to achieve sobriety. There is no denying the strong association between mental disorders and addiction. For this piece, addiction and substance use disorders will be used interchangeably. When a person experiences both it is called a co-occurring disorder. If left untreated, co-occurring disorders can have a detrimental impact on a person’s life and can negatively influence how they function across many facets of life. For example, family functioning is an area of life that is negatively impacted by mental issues and addiction. Additionally, underlying family dynamics can inadvertently reinforce and maintain problems. Therefore, incorporating family therapy is essential and why many substance abuse treatment programs like Camelback Recovery offer family therapy for substance use disorder in their treatment programs.

Research indicates that family therapy can assist individuals in comprehending their roles within the family, improving communication and problem-solving together, minimizing conflicts, setting boundaries when needed, and developing coping mechanisms for handling stress, major life changes, and family-related mental or physical health issues.

At Camelback Recovery, we make sure to provide a caring and safe environment to help you or your loved one’s recovery journey. Our experienced family therapists are dedicated to fostering open communication, understanding, and healing within your family dynamics. Reach out to us today to start your path to healing.

Family counselor talking to the parents during the family therapy in Phoenix, AZ


We can help you achieve permanent sobriety that gives you your life back. Call to learn more about our therapy options in Phoenix, AZ.

Defining Co-Occurring Disorders

A co-occurring disorder is a mental health and substance use disorder diagnosis that exists simultaneously; this is also referred to as a dual diagnosis. A substance use disorder is a mental disorder that impacts an individual’s behavior and the brain, resulting in an inability to control their use of drugs (legal and illegal), alcohol, and medication. Symptoms can range in severity from mild or severe, and they can be effectively treated.

Mental disorders, or mental illnesses, affect a person’s thinking, mood, behavior, and feelings. As substance use disorders, the impact of mental illness can be mild, moderate, or severe, and symptoms can be treated effectively by licensed mental professionals.

Prevalence of Addiction and Mental Disorders

Millions of people across the country experience both addiction and mental illness. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), nearly 9.2 million people have a co-occurring disorder. You can experience a substance use disorder without having a diagnosable mental illness, just as you can be diagnosed with a mental illness and never develop an addiction. However, if you are diagnosed with a substance use disorder, there is a strong possibility that you may have a mental disorder, and the reverse is true. If you are diagnosed with one, there is a strong possibility that you could develop a substance use problem. Researchers have found that half of the people who develop a substance use disorder will also develop a mental illness and vice-versa. Therefore, a patient that is in need of alcohol or drug addiction rehab treatment may also need to undergo inpatient mental health treatment.

Family therapist explaining the images at one of the many family counseling sessions

Common Types of Disorders

Mental issues that commonly occur alongside substance use disorders include:

Common substance use disorders that co-occur with mental illness include:

  • Opioids
  • Alcohol
  • Stimulants
  • Prescription medication
  • Hallucinogens
  • Marijuana

The Impact of Mental Illness and Addiction on the Family

The impact of both mental illness and addiction can be significant, negatively impacting the individual’s family and the person. A dual diagnosis can affect a person’s behavior, thoughts, and feelings and can be detrimental to the family system.

Family members of loved ones with a mental illness or addiction problem are impacted in various ways. Family members:

  • Often feel ashamed or embarrassed by the behavior and actions of their loved one
  • Harbor self-blame and feelings of guilt for the challenges their loved one is facing
  • Have to adjust their expectations regarding the future and the future of the family as a whole
  • Experience feelings of grief
  • May have to take on more responsibilities because the family member is incapable of doing so
  • May find themselves having to take a caregiver role within the family because of the disorder
Therapist with great experience in the mental health field guiding the members during the family therapy session

Why Family Therapy for Addiction

Challenges don’t just impact the individual with the disorder, it affects the entire family system. Family therapy has a long history of use in treating disorders. However, it has only been within the last several decades that family therapy has been included in the treatment of addiction and substance abuse. There are several different family therapy interventions with the same goal: to reduce conflict and distress by improving the interactions and communication among family members. Family therapy is vital in the treatment of co-occurring disorders. Family therapy helps the family unit respond to a family member experiencing a crisis or medical problem.

Goals of Family Therapy

As previously stated, the overall goal of family therapy is to improve interactions and reduce distress in the family unit. Additional objectives for family therapy include:

  • Activating the family’s internal resources and strengths
  • Improving the family’s ability to problem solve and increase problem-solving behaviors
  • Restructure the negative interactions and communication within the family
  • Explore the interactions and underlying family dynamics and their relationship to mental health and addiction

Treatment Options

Family therapy for addiction is one component of a successful treatment plan. Family counselors play a vital role in a successful treatment plan for addiction. If you or a loved one are struggling with mental illness or addiction, help is readily available. Studies continuously show that therapy is effective in treating co-occurring disorders. More specifically, treatment helps individuals counteract the powerful effects of addiction and mental illness on their brains and behavior and helps them re-establish control over their lives.

At Camelback Recovery, the best mental health and addiction treatment center, we offer a variety of treatment options to help you achieve your recovery goals. We offer programs for addiction and dual-diagnosis disorders. At Camelback Recovery, you can choose from a variety of treatment options, including:

Aside from medical detox, family behavior therapy can be included in any treatment programs available as part of your treatment plan. You will work with trained mental and addiction professionals who can help you develop a substance abuse treatment program specific to you, your needs, and your treatment goals. You and your family don’t have to suffer any longer. Don’t wait to start your road to recovery. Compassionate admissions specialists are available to assist you right now. Call 602-466-9880 today and begin your recovery journey.




Camelback Recovery’s therapy center provides treatment to residents across the state of Arizona and the greater Phoenix area which includes Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Glendale and Peoria. Click the button below to read more testimonials from our happy and sober alumni.

Camelback recovery is amazing. The environment is great and welcoming. I highly recommend this place to anybody who is looking to better their life.

Joseph C

It was a really good experience! I made some stable friendships, had a lot of fun, and got to reside in an absolutely beautiful house.

Allie H