Mental illness and addiction impact millions of people across the country. If left untreated, the consequences of both can be devastating. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments available to manage the symptoms of both addiction and mental illness. Group therapy for addiction has proven to be one of the most effective treatment approaches. At Camelback Recovery, we offer group therapy to help you manage and treat your disorders. 

What is Mental Illness?

Mental illness is a behavioral, emotional, or mental disorder that ranges from mild, to moderate, and severe. Nearly 53 million people had a mental illness in 2020. Some common disorders include anxiety, depression, PTSD, trauma, and bipolar disorder. If left untreated, mental illness can have negative consequences on your life.

Young female sharing during support groups concept image for group therapy for addiction


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

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a chronic and relapsing disorder that includes compulsive substance use despite the damaging consequences of use and results in long-lasting changes in the brain. It is categorized as a mental illness and a complex brain disorder. The impact of addiction can be felt on an individual and societal level, and the cost of addiction can be enormous. Studies suggest that more than 23 million adults in the United States struggle with drug use disorder. Alcohol addiction trends are similar. Close to 33% of adults in the United States meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder.

Addiction treatment group therapy can help individuals learn to manage cravings and avoid relapse. Additionally, it can help people increase their understanding of addiction and the role it plays in their lives and provide a space to cope with the impact of addiction on their lives.

Cost of Mental Illness

The economic burden of mental illness is one of the highest of all diseases, and mental illness is one of the highest causes of disability in the United States. There are many risks associated with untreated mental illness, including:

  • Violent and risky behaviors
  • Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction
  • Suicide
  • The development of physical health issues such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease
  • Economic loss
  • Psychosocial problems (problems keeping a job, maintaining healthy relationships)
Adult man confronting another person and is displaying a violent and risky behavior

Cost of Addiction

The cost of addiction can be felt on an individual, global, and economic scale. You are probably aware that addiction can lead to overdose and death. Addiction can also cause significant problems in relationships and finances and contribute to criminal behavior.

More specifically:

  • Addiction costs the United States over 700 billion dollars a year in lost productivity, crime, and healthcare.
  • In 2016, drug overdoses were responsible for more than 63,000 people in the United States.
  • 88,000 people died in 2016 as a result of excessive alcohol use.

Elements of Effective Treatment

Mental illness and addiction don’t discriminate, and anyone can develop an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Fortunately, treatment is available to you, and many treatment facilities such as Camelback Recovery Center offer both treatment simultaneously. Effective treatment comprises many elements and is based on your specific needs, challenges, and treatment goals. Therefore, when you decide to seek help, you can expect your treatment plan to include many different interventions and therapeutic services.

Research has shown us that for treatment to be effective, it must:

  • Address your mental disorders and addiction and physical, vocational, social, and legal problems and be appropriate to your demographics (age, gender, culture).

  • Be flexible and incorporate a variety of treatment interventions and therapeutic services.
  • Address your motivators for change, contributing factors that led to addiction, and relapse prevention through various individual, group, and family therapies.
  • Be readily available.

Effective treatment focuses on the entirety of a person: family history, mental challenges, support group system, and problems that occurred because of the addiction and/or mental illness. An effective way to address these issues is through group cognitive behavioral therapy. Group therapy is a cornerstone for effective treatment for many people struggling with addiction and/or mental illness. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 93% of substance abuse treatment facilities offer group therapy.

On going therapy session concept image for development groups and interpersonal process groups

What is Group Therapy for Mental Illness and Substance Abuse

Group therapy is a type of psychotherapy where a therapist works with a group of individuals with mental illness or substance abuse issues. The group members share their experiences, thoughts, and feelings in a safe and supportive environment during group therapy sessions. The group dynamic can help address feelings of isolation, shame, and guilt that accompany these conditions. Other group members can provide emotional support, encouragement, and feedback to each other, while the therapist facilitates the discussion and helps individuals develop new coping strategies and healthy behaviors. Group therapy can be particularly effective for those who are hesitant to seek individual therapy and can be a cost-effective alternative. It offers a sense of community and hopes for recovery for those struggling with these conditions in a group setting.

Benefits of Group Therapy for Addiction

Group therapy is a common and effective component of substance abuse and mental health therapy. Group sessions can be conducted in nearly all treatment settings: inpatient and outpatient. As human beings, we are biologically predisposed to wanting and needing social connections with others. That need for social connectedness makes therapy groups so effective in treating substance abuse and mental illness.

Group therapy is effective because:

  • It provides an opportunity for group members to witness and experience the recovery of others.
  • It reduces social isolation and withdrawal.
  • It is a source of positive peer support.
  • Encourages abstinence from substances.
  • Effectively address issues that commonly occur with addiction like feelings of shame, mental health issues, and social withdrawal.

Studies indicate that group therapy is at least as effective as individual therapy in treating addiction, if not more effective in certain circumstances.

Structure of Group Therapy

Each group is different and unique. Generally speaking, group therapy is conducted with roughly 6-12 group members and is led by 1-2 licensed mental professionals. The group’s focus can vary based on the treatment facility, treatment setting, and where you are at in the process of recovery.

Some common focuses of group therapy can include:

Group therapy can treat a variety of mental health disorders, including:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma

Contact Camelback Recovery

Group therapy can be an effective tool to help address the challenges of mental illness and addiction. Group therapy is one of our many therapeutic programs available to you. Time is of the essence. You don’t have to suffer from the negative impact of mental illness or addiction any longer. Contact Camelback Recovery, the leading mental health and addiction treatment center, at 602-466-9880 to speak with an admission specialist 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