A graduate course for teaching therapists the role of family researchers, theorists and clinicians in the understanding and treatment of substance abuse is described. The course is taught within a weekend workshop format and is held on three weekends. The material of the course is based on required readings, which form the background for extensive class discussions. The course includes a review of systemic thinking principles and constructivist philosophy, a study of phenomenology of substance abuse and of family dynamics in the families of substance abusers. The final half of the course deals with treatment and concludes with discussion of the contribution that marriage and family therapists make to the treatment of substance abuse.