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In 2014, 6,731,484 people called Arizona home, and a number of these people were abusing drugs and alcohol, battling mental illness, or both.1 Among all adults in the state between 2010 and 2011, an average of 4.6 percent of them were living with a serious mental health disorder and 18.83 percent were living with any mental illness.2
The Mexican drug trade is booming in local Arizona economies, and that makes access to illicit substances easier than in other parts of the country. In 2013, 22.7 million people across America needed treatment for a substance abuse problem and 20.2 million people didn’t get that treatment.3 Arizona has high hopes of changing the treatment climate within their state borders.
Certain factors often influence the rate of drug and alcohol abuse in a given area. In Arizona, poverty and racial demographics play a big role since both poverty and minority races are linked to higher rates of substance abuse. Nationwide, 14.5 percent of the country was living below the poverty level in 2013.4 In Arizona that same year, 17.9 percent of the population was living below the poverty level.5
Black and African American individuals make up 4.1 percent of Arizona’s population and American Indian/Alaska Native people account for 4.6 percent of it.6 Likewise, poverty is more common among certain races. The highest portion of a given racial population living in poverty that year was 38.5 percent for American Indians and Alaska Natives, and Black and African Americans weren’t far behind at 24.5 percent.7
Around 38 percent of all people abusing drugs in Arizona are using methamphetamine.8 Most of them are between 31 and 40 years old.9 Past-month users of methamphetamine across the country total 512,000, and 1.3 million within the last year.10
The rate of prescription drug abuse has also risen in Arizona. Boasting the country’s sixth highest prescription drug abuse rates, 5.66 percent of Arizonans aged 12 and older misused these drugs between 2010 and 2011, whereas just 4.57 percent of the whole nation did.11
In effort to combat this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded the state of Arizona with a $3.6 million grant in 2015 to help state and local officials with bettering prescribing practices and preventing overdose.12 Opioids are particularly popular in Arizona. From 2009-2013, some 12,000 individuals were treated in emergency departments across the state for issues stemming from overdoses of heroin, methadone, and other opioid drugs.13 More Arizonans died as a result of prescription drug overdoses than vehicle accidents in 2010.14 In fact, average estimates account for one resident of Arizona dying every day in 2014 from an overdose of opioid pain relievers.15
Marijuana is abused at increasingly high rates in Arizona. Among current drug users living in Arizona in 2010, 91 percent used cannabis.16 Across the US, 4.2 million adults abuse or are dependent on the drug.17 Among high school teens in Arizona, 42.8 percent reported lifetime marijuana use in 2011, and 11.4 percent had an age of onset of marijuana use that was younger than 13 years old. In addition, 22.9 percent of teens admitted to being current pot users.18
Among lesser-abused drugs in the state, 10.5 percent of high schools admitted to having used cocaine, 12.7 percent had used inhalants, 4 percent had used heroin, and 5.2 percent had abused prescription steroids.19 Data from 2010 on Arizona adult drug use accounts for 17 percent using cocaine and 5 percent using heroin.20 The likelihood of drug abuse among Arizona’s youth may very well be influenced by the probability that they are offered, sold, or given an illegal drug — which 34.6 percent of the students were in 2011.21 Nationwide, 44 percent of students report knowing someone who sells drugs at school.22
Rates of alcohol abuse are no better in Arizona. Not surprisingly, 13.4 percent of all deaths between 2006 and 2010 among working-age individuals in the state were attributed to alcohol.23 In 2013, 17.3 million Americans fit the criteria for alcoholism or struggled with issues of alcohol abuse.24
Nationally, adolescent rates of alcohol use and abuse are lower across the board than in Arizona. Among high school students, 43.8 percent reported drinking alcohol and 21.3 percent did so for the first time before they turned 13 years old.25 The rate of binge drinking among these youths was at 26 percent in 2011, compared to 22 percent across America.26 This is alarming since alcohol use at such an early age significantly increases the risk of alcohol dependency down the road. Individuals who begin drinking alcohol before 14 years of age are at least three times more likely to end up dependent on alcohol someday than people who refrain from drinking until they are 21 or older.27 Perhaps this accounts for the high rate of alcoholism among Arizona residents. Among current drinkers in 2010 in the state, 46 percent reported binge drinking in the previous year.28
Many who abuse drugs and alcohol have found their way into that lifestyle as a means of coping with the uncomfortable side effects of undiagnosed or undertreated mental health disorders. Half of all people with severe forms of mental illness dabble in drug and alcohol abuse, too.29 These disorders include:
During a 2010 survey on the health of Arizona residents, 17 percent reported issues of mental illness.30 Prevalence of mental illness was more common among females in the state than males at 20 percent versus 14 percent, and African Americans boasted a 21 percent prevalence — the highest among any racial demographic.31
A plan to commit suicide or serious consideration of it by high school students was very high in Arizona in 2011 at 18.7 percent — second in the nation.32 About 10.3 percent of the same demographic actually went through with the attempt and suffered injury, poisoning or overdose as a result.33
In an effort to deter excess prescribing practices by physicians, prescribers are required to report prescriptions written every week to a statewide monitoring program, as are pharmacies.34 In addition, the state has followed in line with others before it to provide residents with safe ways of disposing of their prescription drugs after they’re finished with them. The rate of prescription drug abuse has also risen in Arizona.
On the legal front, drug seizures make the news regularly in Arizona and show no sign of slowing down. High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas cover an astounding 90 percent of Arizona’s population.35 Strict laws are in place to enforce the restriction of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The Drug-Free Communities Program works hard within several regions of the state to combat substance use and abuse among the state’s youth.36
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For every 100,000 people in the state, 17.5 die of drug-related overdoses, putting Arizona in the sixth highest ranking position for overdose deaths in the nation.37 The state is fourth highest for alcohol-poisoning deaths.38 Additionally, Arizona is one of many southwestern states with a high number of average annual deaths linked to alcohol abuse — 2,362 between 2006 and 2010.39
Many people end up behind bars every year for their involvement in substance abuse and drug trafficking. Arizona lies within 400 miles of the Mexican border and facilitates nearly as much drug trafficking activity every year as Texas. Arrests for the sale or manufacturing or drugs were numerous in 2013 within state borders. Opium, cocaine, and their derivatives accounted for 1,004 arrests; marijuana for 1,580; synthetic drugs for 777; and other dangerous narcotic drugs accounted for 794 arrests.40 Possession of opium or cocaine totaled 2,657 arrests; marijuana possession garnered 16,656; 3,413 for synthetics; and 4,330 for other illicit drugs.41
Charges imposed by drug offenders vary according to the substance in question and the intention the alleged offender has for having the substance. Possession of marijuana is the least strict out of all illicit substances and carries a penalty that can reach two years’ time when charged as a Class 6 felony.42 Possession of narcotic drugs warrants a potentially longer sentence — up to 3.5 years, while possessing dangerous drugs like mushrooms or LSD carries a maximum sentence of 3.75 years.43 You could even find yourself doing up to two years in prison for simply having paraphernalia on you, such as a bong.44
The penalties get far steeper if you’re trafficking or have the intent to distribute any of these drugs. Trafficking of marijuana in quantities more than 2 pounds carries fines as large as $150,000 and up to 12.5 years of time in jail.45 You’re looking at similar fines and anywhere from six months to almost nine years in prison for growing pot in the state.46
Trafficking other illicit substances, like cocaine and heroin, comes in tow with a minimum of five years spent in prison.47 With 5,130,632 people populating the state from its desert plains to its snowcapped mountains, around 24,336 of them are residing in state prisons and another 57,076 are on probation.48
On a given day in 2006, 26,913 people enrolled in treatment facilities across the state of Arizona, and 8 percent of these people were minors.49 Treatment options are plentiful, with 580 facilities servicing the state.50
In 2006, 57 percent of the state’s rehabilitation centers were private nonprofit institutions, and 20 percent of them were owned and/or operated by Tribal governments.51 That same year, 80 percent of all treatment units offered outpatient care — of which 93 percent of clients in treatment on a given day that year took advantage of52 Fifty-three treatment facilities also had residential care available to clients, and 29 of them treated opioid addictions.53 Such treatment could also be rendered by the 137 physicians and 40 treatment programs that were approved to prescribe buprenorphine.54 Arizona is also home to 199 sober living facilities that cater to the needs of newly recovering clients.55
Mental healthcare options are in limited use in Arizona. In fact, the state has nearly 10 times more people affected by mental illness in jails and prisons than in hospitals at a 9.3 to 1 ratio.56 That being said, a lack of treatment may not be entirely due to accessibility. Nationally, 3.5 percent of people affected by mental illness do not have health insurance; that figure is much higher at 5 percent in Arizona.57
Just as there are laws against the use and promotion of these substances, there are laws that oversee the treatment side of the spectrum, too. To be employed as a drug and alcohol abuse counselor in the state of Arizona, you must hold at least an associate’s degree in the field of chemical dependency or an equivalent field, meet required supervised work hour minimums, and pass a written exam.
The following organizations are great starting points for further information on where to turn and whom to contact in getting the help you need:
>Between April 2010 and July 2015, the population of Arizona grew by 6.8 percent, according to the United States Census Bureau.
It is easy to understand why so many people would choose to move into this state. The unemployment rate is relatively low, housing prices are also low, and the education level is comparably high. That means many people in this state have good educations, good jobs, and strong communities – and it shows.
Communities like this seem to understand that addictions do not develop due to a personal failing or a lack of willpower. Instead, these issues form due to a combination of brain chemistry, opportunity, and genetics. Communities like this also know that treatment works, and they invest in programs that can help. These are a few of the top treatment choices in Arizona for people facing an addiction:
The Meadows: This treatment center is located in Wickenburg, Arizona. For more than 35 years, clinicians at this center have helped clients to overcome mental health and trauma-related issues, including addiction. There is a full spectrum of care available at The Meadows. Teams use individual counseling, group counseling, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, somatic experiencing, equine therapy, acupuncture, and more. All of the services are provided on a beautiful campus that provides gorgeous views of the Sonoran Desert. The Meadows is a TRICARE Preferred Provider of treatment services to members of the military. Many insurance programs work with this provider, but people who plan to use insurance are encouraged to check with their insurance companies first. Intake professionals can help with that process. Financing is also available. Call (800) 244-4949 to find out more.
Soberway: This facility provides addiction care in a family-style setting for people dealing with addiction. There are a number of different programs to choose from. Some are made just for young men, some for young women, and some are designed to assist with a specific type of drug. Therapy teams use a variety of different techniques in each program, including individual therapy, family therapy, and holistic therapies such as yoga and equine therapy. Treatments are provided in gorgeous home facilities in Prescott. Each home has a slightly different aesthetic. Insurance payments are accepted. To find out more, call (877) 917-6237.
Decision Point: The developers of this treatment program believe that some difficulties called “addiction” are actually caused by mental illnesses and lifestyle challenges. As a result, people who enroll in this program are provided with a 15-day assessment period, so the team has a chance to uncover all of the factors that could be contributing to the person’s issues. Then, people enroll in additional treatment for 45 days or 90 days. People can use inpatient services, or they can participate in the company’s intensive outpatient program. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, anger management, equine therapy, and relapse prevention are just a few of the treatments available. Facilities are in Prescott, Scottsdale, and Prescott Valley. Major insurance plan payments are accepted. Call (877) 772-3648 to find out more.
Cottonwood Tucson: This treatment facility works in partnership with the University of Arizona School of Medicine. Together, they work to understand how addictions develop and how they can best be treated through assessments and interventions. All of that research is put to use in this treatment center in Tucson. People who enroll are provided with care for co-occurring conditions, including mood disorders and eating disorders, and they have access to a qualified team of mental health professionals that can deliver a number of therapies to help difficulties ease. Most people stay in the facility for six weeks, but some stay longer. Each room has an occupancy of four, and people are expected to work with their roommates in order to attain a full recovery. Aftercare services include 12-Step meetings, continued therapy, extended care facility referrals, and more. Insurance payments accepted. Call (800) 877-4520 to find out more.
Arizona Addiction Recovery Center: This addiction treatment organization provides services to people ages 18-40. There are multiple locations in Arizona for people in need, including locations in Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Glendale, and Phoenix. Many people fly in from other states to get care with this organization too. Some people take advantage of inpatient care, so they move into the treatment facility to get help for addiction. Others access outpatient care, so they can attend to home and work responsibilities as they heal. In addition to counseling services, the group encourages fun and leisure activities, including outdoor activities and gym membership, to help people remember how to have fun in sobriety. The group accepts insurance payments, but those without insurance can access low-cost options for care. Call (888) 512-1705 to find out more.
The River Source: This organization believes in the concept of holistic healing. To them, it is not possible to separate a mental issue like addiction from a person’s physical and spiritual health. Everything is intertwined, and the treatment approach should be intertwined too. As a result, this group offers a number of alternative therapies to augment traditional rehab work, including nutritional therapy, meditation, yoga, and mindfulness. There are two locations in Arizona for clients to choose from. Insurance payments are accepted, fees are kept low, and there are financial assistance programs for people in need. To find out more, call (888) 687-7332.
Sundance: It is difficult to recover from an addiction when you are surrounded by distractions. Sundance wants to help. This organization provides inpatient care for addiction, so people can get away from the temptations of home and into a new life of recovery. Men and women are in separate programs, so issues of gender are not distracting, and executive men can enroll in a program made just for them. Therapy is provided by licensed, trained professionals. The adobe-style quarters are incredibly warm and appealing. Insurance payments are accepted. To find out more, call (844) 877-8491.
Women in New Recovery: Extended care can be the right option for some people living with an addiction. This facility provides that extended care to women, and it is located in Mesa. Women who enroll move right into the facility, and they spend every day working on recovery in the company of peers who know, on a personal level, just how devastating an addiction can be. As they progress, these women can move into a sober living environment, in which they have more freedoms but are still encased in the safety of a safe and clean home. This nonprofit organization accepts insurance payments, and is willing to discuss payment options for women in need. To find out more, call (888) 393-0544.
Sierra Tucson: For over 30 years, the team of this organization has provided residential care for people with addictions. Men and women who are 18 or older are welcome to apply, even if their addictions are complicated by other issues, such as depression, eating disorders, chronic pain, or trauma. The team performs an in-depth assessment to determine the best path forward, and every person who enrolls has access to a team of licensed mental health professionals delivering state-of-the-art care. The campus includes a swimming pool, a labyrinth, a kiva, rock climbing walls, hiking paths, and a salon. Rooms are semi-private with full baths. Insurance payments are accepted. Call (855) 396-1913 to find out more.
Desert Cove Recovery: This organization believes in delivering customized care for people who struggle with addictions. As a result, each treatment plan is carefully customized to meet the needs of clients. Options that could be used in that treatment plan include medical detox (through a referral), extended care, and outdoor therapy. The program is appropriate for people who have addictions, including addictions complicated by mental illness. The treatment facility is located in Scottsdale. Most major insurance program payments are accepted. To find out more, call (888) 971-1113.
Valley Hope: This organization has provided addiction treatment since 1967. During that time, thousands of people have gotten help through the work and dedication of the treatment team. That work continues today, and there are several Arizona locations of Valley Hope to choose from. Services offered include medical detox, residential care, partial day care, outpatient care, continuing care, family care, and online therapy. Multiple payment options for care are available, including health insurance and financing. To find out more, call (800) 544-5101.
Calvary: This organization believes that residential treatments provide the best way forward for people struggling with addiction. This group has a 2.5-acre campus that is dedicated to helping both men and women older than 18. People who enroll are provided with instruction in the way to recovery, with treatments that may include equine therapy, yoga, acupuncture, and/or EMDR. Counseling is also part of the treatment plan, and all counselors hold master’s degrees or more. People who want to explore a spiritual level of recovery can sign up for the faith-based track of care to gain a closer connection with God. There is also a family program, so people at home learn more about how to support a lasting recovery. Insurance payments are accepted. To find out more, call (866) 767-6237.
Stonewall Institute: This organization takes pride in the fact that the treatment setting is warm and inviting. Clinical, hospital-like environments can make some people in recovery feel uneasy, so the developers of this program worked hard to make sure that the setting felt warm, inviting, and comforting. But the care is far from homespun. The team uses state-of-the-art approaches to combat addiction. All care is provided on an outpatient basis, and the staff-to-client ratio is kept small, so people have the personalized care they need as they recover. Major insurance program payments are accepted, and there are special pricing schedules for people experiencing financial hardship. To contact this Phoenix organization, call (602) 535-6468.
Addiction Resources Incorporated: Drugs like heroin and Vicodin can change chemical signaling in the brain, and when that happens, it can be hard for people to develop a lasting sobriety plan. Medications can help, as they can quell cravings and allow people to focus on developing new habits. This form of assistance is available at Addiction Resources Incorporated. Counseling is also provided, so people can learn how to develop new habits that do not involve drugs. Every person who enrolls will see a counselor at least once per month. People who enroll must be 18 or older, and they must have at least a one-year addiction history. The staff speaks both English and Spanish. Clients are responsible to pay all fees in advance. Contact this Phoenix company at (602) 233-9401.
The Pathway Program: This family-owned organization provides addiction treatments to people ages 13 to 25. These young people need to learn more about how to develop a healthy life without drugs, and they can get that help here. Treatment options run the gamut from outpatient counseling to residential care, depending on the circumstances and the needs of the young person. Parents are kept in the loop of the treatment plan, and in some cases, they are also offered counseling. Those counseling sessions can help parents to understand the challenges their young people are facing as they attempt to recover. No information about insurance payments or payment plans is readily available online, but interested families can reach out to the organization for those details. Call (877) 921-4050.
Oasis Addiction Counseling: A traditional addiction treatment model involves moving out of the home and into a treatment facility that can help. Oasis uses a very different model. Here, people who enroll are asked to move into a nearby sober living community, where they can be surrounded by recovering peers in a controlled but not overly structured environment. Then, these people come to Oasis each day for intensive outpatient addiction care. This model provides significant savings over traditional inpatient models, and it can be a good choice for people who need to recover but who may not be able to afford a resort-style addiction program. Insurance payments are accepted, and admissions teams are available to answer any questions families might have. Call (855) 778-5375.
Scottsdale Treatment: This program provides outpatient care in a nonjudgmental environment. Some people come to this organization due to a court order, while others engage through a sincere need to change a life inundated with drugs into something different and better. People who enroll are allowed to choose their own path to healing. Some choose individual sessions, others choose group sessions, and others choose outpatient therapy. Some augment their care with screenings and treatment for anger management or domestic violence. There are classes available on all sorts of addiction-related topics, including DUI. Those who need medication assistance for addiction can also get it in this facility. Insurance payments are accepted. Call (480) 429-9044 to find out more.
The Sanctuary at Sedona: The founders of this treatment center wanted to create a healing environment that was different from the other options available in the community. As a result, they do not use 12-Step approaches in care, and they do not offer treatments with a clinical feel. Instead, they offer an integrative approach that attempts to draw together a person’s mind, body, energy, and spirituality into a picture of long-term health. The team provides counseling, recovery coaching, yoga, meditation, nutritional supplementation, wisdom teaching, and body work. The Sedona facility is very secluded, and only seven clients are accepted at any one time. That means everyone who enrolls has a great deal of privacy. And the grounds are simply breathtaking. No insurance payments are accepted, but there are financing options available. Call (877) 710-3385 to find out more.
Community Bridges: This private, nonprofit organization has been in operation for more than 30 years. It is considered one of the largest statewide providers of mental and behavioral health care, including addiction. All programs are licensed by the state of Arizona. There are inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment programs to choose from, and people can also tap into medical detox services. The staff members and amenities available can be quite variable from one facility to another, but all are designed to help people in need. That extends to people with financial difficulties. No person will be turned away due to an inability to pay. Anyone and everyone who needs help can get it here. To find out more, contact the 24/7 helpline at (877) 931-9142.
Canyon Crossing Recovery: This facility, located in Prescott, is designed for women living with an addiction. Women who enroll are asked to move into a women-only structured transitional living facility. Here, they live with other women in recovery in a sober-home environment. Then, these women participate in an intensive outpatient program for addiction on the campus, which includes 12-Step fundamentals, individual counseling, equine therapy, adventure therapy, and educational workshops. Insurance payments are accepted. Call (800) 651-7254 to find out more.
Clean Adventures: This private organization is designed for men living with addiction. These men move into a sober living home located close to the main facility, where they are surrounded by other men who are also working toward recovery. During the day, these men participate in an intensive outpatient program that is designed to teach them how to change old behaviors and unfounded belief systems. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, and adventure therapy are all used in this organization. This model is quite cost-effective, and the founders suggest that the model they offer costs about a third of the costs associated with other forms of care. Insurance payments are accepted. Call (844) 433-8400 to find out more.
A Better Today Recovery Services: Personalized therapy based on the needs of the person with the addiction is the goal of this organization. There are two locations in Arizona to choose from: One is in Scottsdale, and one is in Phoenix. Recovery begins with a comprehensive assessment, so the team understands how the addiction developed. Next, the team builds a treatment program that might involve individual therapy, group therapy, art therapy, equine therapy, family therapy, nutritional support, or yoga. Both inpatient and outpatient programs are available, and the organization can provide intervention services for people who have not decided to invest in getting well. Insurance payments are accepted, and financing options are available. Call (888) 906-0952 to find out more.
Sol Recovery Center: This Scottsdale treatment center provides care for adults with addiction, and the team uses a personalized approach. Potential clients go through a free and confidential screening process, and they are offered several different types of treatments to choose from. Some are inpatient, allowing people to move into the treatment center for help, and some are outpatient, so people can continue to live at home while they recover. There are aftercare programs available, for people who need a little extra support before heading back to the challenges of home. People who have addictions sparked by trauma can get specialized care for those issues too. The organization works with most major insurance companies. Call (866) 239-1700 to find out more.
Awakening Recovery Center: This organization provides intensive outpatient care for addictions. That means people who enroll continue to live at home with the people they love, but they spend the majority of every day in the treatment facility, getting care for addiction. In that facility, they work with professionals who have over 30 years of experience providing care for people with addictions. Much of the work is done in a group format, but weekly or biweekly private counseling sessions are available too. There are aftercare services provided for a year after formal treatment ends. Most major insurance program payments are accepted. Call (480) 209-1977 to find out more.
Reflections Recovery Center: This Prescott provider delivers addiction treatment to both men and women. Every person who enrolls is provided with an individualized care plan that can be changed or amended as the client grows in recovery. Therapy options provided include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, experiential therapy, group therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and trauma therapy. Medication management, dual-diagnosis treatment, sober living, and life-skills training are all available for people in need. Insurance payments are accepted, and there is a transportation service available for people who might struggle to get to the treatment center without a little help. Call (866) 790-7979 to find out more.
These are the top 25 treatment centers in Arizona, but rest assured that there are many more. Local hospitals may be able to provide medical detox services, and some provide follow-up care too. Small providers may also deliver outpatient counseling for addiction on a customized schedule. If you need help in Arizona, you can get it. All you need to do is ask.