Evidence based-research demonstrates that treatment of addiction must involve the entire family, so they can be managed as a unit. Therefore, the best treatment programs acknowledge the role of family on the mental and physical health of a person with drug and alcohol addiction.
While one-on-one counseling for addiction concentrates mainly on individuals’ addiction and how efficiently, they can manage it, family therapy will focus on the dynamics of relationships between the addicts and their family members. The major emphasis is on the system rather than individual issues. For example, in individual counseling, addicts discuss how being stressed at their jobs increases the cravings to use drug and alcohol. In family therapy, they get a chance to discuss how being stressed at work causes them to withdraw at home making the whole family feel angry and insecure, that in turn aggravates the stress. Family therapies help to learn the addicts and their family members that family is similar to a cobweb and picking one string from it can result in causing ripples throughout the extent of the entire web. It also helps to educate the family members about the nature of addiction and allow them to change along with the addicts, learning how the addiction has altered the way they consider things and the way they act.