Tucson Rehab

SpringBoard Recovery provides effective treatment for substance use & mental health disorders.

Evan Leonard MS, MMS, PA-C

Dr. Leonard is a Doctor of Medical Science and a clinical anatomist. He has practiced in both internal and emergency medicine and has published several, peer-reviewed articles and a medical book chapter.

Finding an alcohol and drug rehab in Tucson is actually quite easy, considering how many options are available. So many people attempt to quit on their own instead of getting professional treatment, and that could put their lives in danger. Quitting on one’s own increases the risk of relapsing, which can lead to a potential overdose. Tucson, Arizona is a wonderful area that is filled with happy families, prosperous jobs and great opportunities. But beneath it all are communities of people that are hurting because of substance abuse. This is a problem that affects everyone, including addicts and their loved ones. It is important to know what is available for people who live in Tucson who are in need of drug and alcohol rehab. This information can help people make the best decisions for themselves and their futures.
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Our outpatient drug treatment program allows you to keep work and family commitments while focusing on your sobriety.

SpringBoard Recovery is a professional drug and alcohol rehab center located in Arizona, just an hour up I-10E from Tucson, and we offer an accredited intensive outpatient drug treatment program, helping our clients successfully recover from a range of drug and alcohol addictions.

We have earned many years of full accreditation from the Joint Commission, who expect the highest national standards for addiction treatment, and we are committed to continually improving patient care.

We accept most major health insurance coverage, and clients travel from all over the U.S. to receive their personalized treatment with us, with many staying in our on-site, substance-free Sober Living accommodation.

Fentanyl Overdose: Leading Cause of Death for Tucson Teenagers

Tucson, Arizona, like the rest of the state, has witnessed a steady rise in drug and alcohol abuse and addiction over recent years, both within the city and its surrounding suburbs.

However, the number of fatalities from opioids (including synthetic substances) have continued to rise dramatically.

The district of Pima County, home to both the city of Tucson and the University of Arizona, is one of the worst affected areas in the entire state for both drug use and abuse, and for drug and alcohol-related deaths.

According to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, speaking to reporters on October 6, 2021, more teenagers in Pima County are now dying from a fentanyl overdose, the potent synthetic drug now driving the U.S. opioid crisis, than from car crashes, suicide, or the coronavirus.

This is our reality. Fentanyl overdoses have replaced car accidents as the leading cause of death for people 19 and younger in Pima County. Pima County deputy sheriffs are responding to a call involving fentanyl every 40 hours.”

– Arizona Governor Doug Ducey: October 6, 2021

So far during 2021,140 Pima County residents have died as a result of a fentanyl overdose, according to official county data. In 2016, there were just 16.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Addiction & Mortality in Tucson, Arizona

According to estimates from local authorities, 2021 will be yet another record-breaking year for the total number of drug overdose deaths in the city of Tucson, its suburbs, and the rest of Pima County.

In the state of Arizona as a whole, and according to provisional drug overdose data from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, there were over 2,700 overdose deaths in the 12 months preceding this March 2021 – a whole year on from the first state stay-at-home orders caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Every Single Day, 7 Arizona Residents Died from Drug Overdose During 2020

In other words, on average, 7 Arizona residents died every day from a drug overdose. The majority of those deaths were due to synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl.

The lockdowns may have saved many in Tucson and other cities in Arizona from contracting the COVID-19 virus.

However, for the residents of Tucson and the rest of the U.S., the pandemic brought social isolation, job losses, school closures, and severe disruption to substance addiction treatment and support groups.

Patients stopped attending their addiction treatment facilities, and, later, not all of those actually in treatment successfully made the transition to telehealth.

Even recovery support groups, like AA and NA, were forced to stop their in-person meetings.

The result? An undeniable surge in drug use, experimentation, addiction, relapse, and death in Tucson, Pima County and beyond.

And all of this in a worsening border landscape of illicit drug trafficking.

In the city of Tucson and the rest of Pima County, counterfeit tablets have undoubtedly become the most critical issue for parents, teachers, local authorities, and the emergency services.

However, other substances, such as illicit drugs like methamphetamine (meth) and cocaine, alcohol, marijuana, and real prescription medications are still being abused as before, and, sadly, still creating their own death tolls.

Tucson, Arizona: Latest Drug & Alcohol Abuse Statistics

Here are the latest available statistics for substance use, abuse, and addiction in Arizona and, in particular, Tucson and its immediate surroundings.

Arizona Statewide Substance Use & Abuse

Looking at substance use and abuse in generally terms for the state of Arizona, according to the “Arizona 2018 Statewide Substance Use Prevention Needs Assessment”:

  • The counties experiencing the most severe consequences of substance use in Arizona are Gila County, Navajo County, Mohave County, and Pima County, home to Tucson
  • The normalization of marijuana and other substances may be leading to an increase in other substance use
  • State-wide efforts to combat the opioid crisis in Arizona are increasing street drug use
  • LGBTQ identified individuals experience significantly more risks, consequences, and issues with substance use and/or misuse, as compared to non-LGBTQ identified individuals
  • Increasing numbers of Arizonans from all demographics are suffering from untreated mental health issues, a primary cause of substance use and/or misuse

Additionally, using the same data source, among Arizonans aged 12 and older:

  • 50.9% reported they currently use alcohol on a regular basis
  • 22.6% reported regular episodes of binge-drinking
  • 12.2% reported using any type of illicit drug
  • 7.4% reported using marijuana recreationally
  • 2.1% reported using cocaine within the last year
  • 0.5% reported using heroin at least once within the last year
Addiction among youth in Tucson, Arizona. According to the most recent Arizona Youth Survey. 8th graders. 38 percent reports having used alcohol at least once in their lifetime, 19 percent has consumed alcohol at least once in the last 30 days, and 21 percent have used marijuana at least one time. 12th graders. 70 percent have tried alcohol at least one time, 45 percent admit to using alcohol at least once in the last month, and 22 percent have used marijuana at least once in the last month
Addiction among youth in Tucson, Arizona. According to the most recent Arizona Youth Survey. 8th graders. 38 percent reports having used alcohol at least once in their lifetime, 19 percent has consumed alcohol at least once in the last 30 days, and 21 percent have used marijuana at least one time. 12th graders. 70 percent have tried alcohol at least one time, 45 percent admit to using alcohol at least once in the last month, and 22 percent have used marijuana at least once in the last month

Tucson & Pima County Substance Use & Abuse

The most recent Arizona Youth Survey highlights the following data about substance abuse among teenagers in Tucson and the rest of Pima County:

  • For 8th Graders (age 13-14)
    • About 38% of 8th graders report having used alcohol at least once in their lifetime
    • Around 19% of teens in this age group report consuming alcohol at least once in the last 30 days
    • 21% of 8th graders report that they have used marijuana at least once
    • 10% report that they have used it at some point within the last month
    • Other drugs that are popular among this age group include:
      • Inhalants (around 10.5%)
      • Prescription pain relievers (around 9.5%) and
      • Other types of prescription drugs (around 11%)
  • For 12th Graders (age 17-18)
    • More than 70% have tried alcohol at least once
    • Around 45% report using alcohol at least once in the last month
    • 22% have used marijuana at least once in the last month, and 48% report having tried it at least once in their lifetime
    • Around 26% of high school seniors report having participated in binge drinking at some point within the last 2 weeks
    • Around 7% state that they also used some type of prescription drug at the same time
    • 11% of students in this age group report driving a car after consuming alcohol
    • 23% report riding in a car with someone who had been drinking
    • Around 6% report they had driven a car after having taken prescription drugs to get high
    • 21% of 12th graders stated that they had been drunk or high at school at least once
    • Just over 10% admitted to having sold illegal drugs

IMPORTANT:

Parent Resources

The Pima County Behavioral Health department, which is not a direct service provider, suggests the following resources for parents who are seeking assistance:

  • CODAC
    • Community Crisis Support Lines: (520) 622-6000
    • Suicide Prevention Program: 520-202-1870

Fentanyl-Laced Counterfeit Prescription Medications

The geographic location of Tucson in Arizona makes it a prime target for illicit cross-border drug traffickers. Just 60 miles south of the city lies the U.S.-Mexico border crossing at Nogales, one of the busiest areas in the entire U.S. for criminal drug trafficking activity.

One of the Mexican drug cartels’ most trafficked drugs are now counterfeit medications, and it is mainly these fake pills which are behind the recent rise in fentanyl deaths of Pima County teenagers.

Visual Comparison of Authentic Medication with Counterfeit Tablets:
Oxycodone (30mg) & Xanax
“One Pill Can Kill” DEA Public Awareness Campaign

Images (left to right): Authentic Oxycodone, 30mg tablet (top left); Counterfeit Oxycodone, 30mg tablet (top right); Authentic Xanax tablet (bottom left); Counterfeit Xanax tablet (bottom right)
Source: DEA “One Pill Can Kill” Media Toolkit

The cartels produce the tablets from restricted precursor chemicals which are imported in bulk from China. From these chemicals, the cartels manufacture the drugs in large illegal labs, and, because they are cheap to make and small in size, they are then easily trafficked in bulk across the border.

DEA-Seized PIll Press
“One Pill Can Kill” DEA Public Awareness Campaign

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently stated it had made 810 arrests and seized more than 1.8 million fake pills in an attempt to slow the continuous flow of counterfeit medications across the U.S.-Mexico border.

DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said the agency is working hard to shut the traffickers’ distribution networks: “The pervasiveness of these illicit drugs, and the fatal overdoses that too often result, is a problem that cuts across America from small towns to big cities and everything in between.”

DEA laboratory testing reveals that 4 out of 10 fentanyl-laced fake pills contain a potentially lethal 2-milligram dose.”

– DEA Administrator Anne Milgram

The issue of fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills has now become so widespread that the DEA recently issued a public safety alert – its first in 6 years.

Additionally, it has launched a public awareness campaign – “One Pill Can Kill.” Part of the campaign is a group of detailed photographs showing the vital differences between authentic prescription tablets and the counterfeit pills flooding parts of the U.S.

However, the DEA specifically warns the images “do not represent the many variations of counterfeit pills. Never trust your own eyes to determine if a pill is legitimate.”

Increasing Potency: One Pill Really Can Kill

Increasingly, counterfeit prescription pills resembling Oxycodone, Xanax and other medications, and illicit drugs like cocaine and heroin are being laced with fentanyl, the synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

According to the DEA, a mere 2 milligrams of fentanyl, the size of 2 grains of salt, can prove fatal (as shown clearly in the image on the right below).

Lethal Doses of Heroin, Carfentanil & Fentanyl
“One Pill Can Kill” DEA Public Awareness Campaign

Image (right): 2mg Dose of Fentanyl, considered potentially lethal by the DEA
Source: DEA “One Pill Can Kill” Media Toolkit

In fact, according to DEA spokeswoman Jodie Underwood of the agency’s Phoenix Division, “It used to be that 26% of the fentanyl (being trafficked) contained a possibly lethal dose. Now it’s 42%.”

The biggest driving factor behind the criminally commercial success of these illicit opioid-based products is cost. They are readily available (drug dealers are easily contacted via social media), easy to traffick, and very cheap – only $2 to $5 per tablet.

DEA spokeswoman Underwood also stated, “Transactions use emojis and code-words and are done in private chat rooms, and even if we were to see them, we wouldn’t recognize them. An emoji with popcorn might be code.”

Fake Adderall Tablets Clearly Targeting the Young

If more proof were needed that it is teenagers and young adults who are the drug dealers’ primary target, other counterfeit pills include fake Adderall.

Visual Comparison of Authentic Adderall with Counterfeit Adderall
“One Pill Can Kill” DEA Public Awareness Campaign

Images (left to right): Authentic Adderall, 20mg tablet (top left / mid left / bottom left); Counterfeit Adderall, 30mg tablet (top right / mid right / bottom right)
Source: DEA “One Pill Can Kill” Media Toolkit

Prescription Adderall and other medications in the same class of drugs, such as Ritalin and Concerta, are prescribed to people suffering with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, the sleep disorder.

Legitimate Adderall contains a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, central nervous system stimulants that affect chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.

However, they are often used as “study aids” by those looking to boost their energy and concentrate for long periods of time, such as high school students revising for exams.

Other Addictive Substances Abused in Tucson & Pima County

In the city of Tucson and the rest of Pima County, counterfeit tablets have undoubtedly become the most critical issue for parents, teachers, local authorities, and the emergency services.

Obviously, it’s not only one type of drug being used and abused or one specific demographic that is being affected by the issues and dangers of substance addiction.

In Tucson, other highly addictive substances, such as illicit drugs like methamphetamine (meth) and cocaine, alcohol, marijuana, and real prescription medications are still being abused as they were before.

Methamphetamine (Meth)

  • Methamphetamine abuse has long been a serious issue in Tucson, Pima County, and the rest of Arizona
  • Pure, potent methamphetamine has been available on the streets of Tucson for the last decade, trafficked into the area by Mexican drug-trafficking organizations
  • Domestic production of meth in Arizona was drastically reduced in 2005, when legislation was passed that placed restrictions on access to meth’s main ingredient, pseudoephedrine
  • Tucson is a major distribution hub of pure methamphetamine
  • Local police estimate they may only be intercepting around 10% of the drug that is being trafficked through Pima County
  • A high from pure, high-end meth can last for hours, causing paranoia and hallucinations, and it can sometimes lead to violent behavior

Cocaine

  • Cocaine is a significant drug threat to Arizona
  • Powdered cocaine and crack cocaine are widely available and frequently abused throughout the state
  • Crack cocaine is one of the most accessible illicit drugs in the metropolitan areas of both Tucson and Phoenix
  • Mexican DTOs (drug trafficking organizations) and criminal groups dominate the transportation of cocaine into Arizona

Alcohol

  • Alcohol is the most abused substance in both Tucson and the rest of Arizona
  • Over half the population of the state regularly consumes alcohol every month
  • Arizona is the 4th worst state for death from alcohol poisoning in the U.S.
  • Around 76% (or 3 in 4) of those who died from alcohol poisoning in Arizona were aged between 35 – 65 years
  • 2.5% of all ER visits in the state of Arizona have been the direct result of binge drinking
  • Additionally, binge drinking is related to about 4.5% of all inpatient hospitalizations
  • Alcohol is (at least) a contributing factor in around one-third of all ER visits in Arizona

Heroin

  • Heroin is considered a serious threat in Tucson
  • Mexican black tar heroin is the most dominant type of heroin available in Tucson
  • However, Mexican brown powdered heroin is also widely available
  • Mexican DTOs and criminal groups control the transportation and wholesale distribution of both types of heroin

Marijuana

  • In 2020, Arizona voted (by around 60%) to legalize cannabis for all adults over the age of 21
  • Soonafter, the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) began accepting applications for adult-use licenses.
  • Approvals were issued on January 22, 2021, and sales began immediately
  • Arizona rolled out their adult-use sales program faster than any other state that voted to pass recreational cannabis in the November, 2020 elections
  • In the metro area of Tucson, recreational marijuana is available from 14 different dispensaries
  • Currently, there are no detailed statistics available yet of the estimated increase of marijuana use disorder (addiction) in the city of Tucson or Pima County

Detox in Tucson: The First Step Towards Recovery

Detox: Detoxifying From Dangerous Toxins Created by Substance Use

The majority of drug and alcohol rehab programs in Tucson request people go through the drug and alcohol detox process prior to beginning their addiction treatment program.

The reason for detox is simple – halting substance use abruptly results in users experiencing a range of withdrawal symptoms, some of which can prove fatal.

The severity and duration of these symptoms depend on the following factors:

  • What substance was being abused?
  • How long did the abuse last?
  • How much of the substance was consumed during daily use?
What is detox? Detoxification is the process by which the body rids itself of the drug it's addicted to. It addresses the physical side of addiction and is the first step in recovery. Stopping some drugs cause unpleasant and often dangerous withdrawal symptoms
What is detox? Detoxification is the process by which the body rids itself of the drug it's addicted to. It addresses the physical side of addiction and is the first step in recovery. Stopping some drugs cause unpleasant and often dangerous withdrawal symptoms

Many Tucson rehab programs offer a medically-assisted detox service in-house, whereas others will provide professional referrals for local detox programs that they know and trust.

Looking at our previous list of the most commonly abused substances in Tucson and Pima County, all of them require a medically-assisted detox, with the exception of marijuana.

For the safe detox from opioids (including heroin, fentanyl and prescription opioid medications), alcohol, methamphetamine and cocaine, a medically-assisted detox is essential for a number of reasons. These are:

  • Specific substances can induce withdrawal symptoms that are severe and potentially life-threatening, eg. heroin and alcohol
  • Specific substances are best detoxed from with the help of medications, eg. opioids
  • Specific substances can cause the creation of harmful toxins in the body, which also require medications, eg. cocaine and alcohol
  • All of the substances listed, with the addition of benzodiazepines, will result in uncomfortable, painful and sometimes severe withdrawal symptoms, making the person’s craving to return to their previous use more intense.

A medically-assisted detox ensures there is no chance of relapse.

Co-occurring disorder treatment. Almost 8 million people in the U.S. suffer from both addiction and a mental disorder, this is known as a co-occurring disorder. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy it's an effective way of treating both afflictions. CBT is the process of exploring a patient's thought patterns, behaviors and conceptions in order to identify harmful and self-destructive thinking patterns
Co-occurring disorder treatment. Almost 8 million people in the U.S. suffer from both addiction and a mental disorder, this is known as a co-occurring disorder. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy it's an effective way of treating both afflictions. CBT is the process of exploring a patient's thought patterns, behaviors and conceptions in order to identify harmful and self-destructive thinking patterns

In this section, we’ll look at two of the most common substance detoxes in Tucson and the surrounding area – opioid detox and alcohol detox, both of which have their own withdrawal symptoms and distinct risks.

Opioid Detox: How Dangerous is Opioid Withdrawal?

For example, withdrawal from opioids, such as fentanyl and heroin (2 of most commonly abused drugs in Tucson), although rarely fatal, is still very severe.

Unless the individual is detoxing with medical supervision, the likelihood is they will resume use of the opioid to alleviate the harsh symptoms they are experiencing.

Typical withdrawal symptoms associated with detoxing from opioids, which normally begin within the first 24 hours after the last use of the drug, can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle aches
  • Sweating
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate

Although these are highly unpleasant, withdrawal symptoms improve after 72 hours, with a significant decrease in severity after a week.

However, it is these symptoms that drive many individuals who are not undergoing a structured detox to resume their previous opioid use.

Medications Used in an Opioid Detox

Severe withdrawal symptoms may require the use of medications, such as clonidine, a medication usually used for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

However, clonidine is also highly effective when used for lessening the severity of drug withdrawal, and can improve symptoms by 50-75%.

Additionally, suboxone is a prescription medication that combines a mild opioid – buprenorphine – with an opioid blocker – naloxone, and again is used effectively to lessen the severity of opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol Detox: How Dangerous Is Alcohol Withdrawal?

If someone has been consuming alcohol excessively over an extended period or has been diagnosed with alcohol use disorder (AUD), abruptly stopping their alcohol use can be dangerous, and even life-threatening.

This is because of the sheer severity and wide variety of alcohol’s withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol has one of the worst withdrawals to experience out of all the available addictive substances – legal or illegal.

Withdrawing from alcohol use disorder (or alcoholism) must be carried out under medical supervision.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can begin within 2 hours, and last for up to 4 days after stopping alcohol use.

Depending on the person’s historical alcohol intake, these symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe.

Common mild to moderate symptoms experienced by those stopping their alcohol use can include:

  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Feeling depressed
  • Fatigue
  • Poor cognition
  • Dilated pupils
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased heart rate
  • Pale skin
  • Sleep problems
  • Nightmares

The Dangers of Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Anyone who has a long history of excessive alcohol consumption can potentially experience one of the most severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms: delirium tremens, also known as “the DTs.”

In fact, around 3-5% of individuals withdrawing from heavy alcohol use will experience delirium tremens.

IMPORTANT: Critically, if the DTs are left untreated, this condition can prove fatal.

If you or a loved one show any symptoms of the DTs, you must seek emergency medical treatment immediately, as the symptoms (shown below) will likely worsen:

  • Fever
  • Extreme agitation
  • Seizures
  • Extreme confusion
  • High blood pressure
  • Hallucinations

Medically-Assisted Alcohol Detox

If an individual is drinking heavily, as in the case of AUD, withdrawing from alcohol without medical care is considered dangerous, and has been known to be life-threatening.

However, if the individual undergoes a professional, medically-supervised alcohol detox, it will ensure a safe withdrawal from alcohol.

During this type of detox, medical staff are on-hand to strictly monitor the detox process (24/7), and to administer specific medications, if required.

The medications used in a medically-supervised alcohol detox to address some of the more severe withdrawal symptoms include benzodiazepines, which are used to counteract the anxiety produced as a withdrawal symptom.

Common benzodiazepines used in alcohol detox include diazepam (Valium) and chlordiazepoxide (Librium).

Where Can I Detox in Tucson & Pima County?

In the entire state of Arizona, according to the SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration), there are a total of 107 addiction treatment facilities that offer medically supervised detoxification services, either as an inpatient (the most common detox) or as an outpatient.

In the city of Tucson itself and the rest of Pima County, professional medical detoxes are available at 20 drug rehabs or medical centers.

However, it is important to note that some of these facilities are only for the detox from opioid use.

Undergoing an inpatient treatment program in Tucson and Pima County, often termed as “drug rehab,” usually includes a medically-supervised detox as an intrinsic part of the program.

Furthermore, treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) which includes opioid replacement therapy (where a substitute opioid such as methadone is prescribed) is considered the continuation of a long-term detox process, and will involve regular attendance at an outpatient facility.

Additionally, a medically-supervised detox should be one of the necessary elements of a holistic approach to detox, where nutrition and exercise are also used to facilitate the process, and to help the body eliminate dangerous toxins more quickly.

Drug Rehab Treatment Programs in Tucson

The vast majority of drug and alcohol abusers and addicts use substances as a way of self-medicating themselves from another issue, such as a previous trauma, an untreated mental health disorder, or one of many other factors.

The aim of treatment in drug rehab is not just to treat the drug addiction, but also to treat the root cause of the substance abuse – the real reason the drug use originally began.

Drug rehab treatment programs in Tucson do this through their use of professional therapy, education, the use of coping strategies, and teaching vital self-care, such as exercise and good nutrition.

What is Co-Occurring Disorder / Dual Diagnosis?

In the case of a person with substance use disorder (SUD) also suffering with an untreated mental health disorder, this is medically known as “co-occurring disorder” or “dual diagnosis.”

Depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are very common examples of these types of mental health disorders.

Drug rehab treatment needs to treat both disorders simultaneously to be effective, as the continuing existence of one invariably results in the return of the other.

Detox vs Rehab. Detox. it's the process of eliminating drugs and their toxins from the body. The aim of detox is to get you both physically and mentally stable enough to begin rehab. Rehab. Address underlying psychological conditions and past traumas. Learn how to identify and avoid high-risk situations, triggers, and relapses
Detox vs Rehab. Detox. it's the process of eliminating drugs and their toxins from the body. The aim of detox is to get you both physically and mentally stable enough to begin rehab. Rehab. Address underlying psychological conditions and past traumas. Learn how to identify and avoid high-risk situations, triggers, and relapses

Additionally, drug abuse itself can result in the emergence of a mental health disorder, as the abuse of many illicit substances can result in both the development of behavioral issues and physical, structural changes in the individual’s brain.

Different Types of Drug Rehab Treatment Programs Available in Tucson

When deciding on what type of drug rehab treatment program you should attend, please listen to the advice of the medical and clinical experts, such as your family physician, professional addiction experts, and hospital specialists.

Tucson Substance Addiction Treatment: Core Therapies

Regardless of your choice of drug treatment, the program should use the important elements of recognized evidence-based treatments at its core, which include:

  • Drug / alcohol detoxification (if required; more commonly known as detox)
  • Group therapy
  • Relapse prevention, and
  • Individual counseling (also known as “talk therapy”)

Here are the drug rehab treatment program options available in the city of Tucson, and their respective benefits and advantages over other program types:

1. Inpatient Program (IP)

An inpatient program (IP), also known as residential rehab because you live 24/7 at the facility, is recommended for those with severe substance addictions, and for those who have a co-occurring disorder (or dual diagnosis).

Being resident within a drug rehab offering continuous care helps enormously in avoiding drug-related influences and triggers from your previous, addicted life.

IPs can either be short or long term, anywhere between 28 days to a whole year and beyond, and often lead to further treatment, such as an outpatient program OP).

Types of rehab. Patients who complete rehab are much likely to remain sober for longer periods of time, even forever. The type of treatment is determined by what the person is addicted to and the level of addiction. Inpatient rehab. ideal for people with severe addictions. 21 percent of patients remain sober after 5 years. Outpatient rehab. Patients go to a facility for treatment a few hours a week. 18 percent of patients remain sober after 5 years
Types of rehab. Patients who complete rehab are much likely to remain sober for longer periods of time, even forever. The type of treatment is determined by what the person is addicted to and the level of addiction. Inpatient rehab. ideal for people with severe addictions. 21 percent of patients remain sober after 5 years. Outpatient rehab. Patients go to a facility for treatment a few hours a week. 18 percent of patients remain sober after 5 years

Please bear in mind that IPs are normally more costly than the OP alternatives.

Advantages of IPs

Inpatient rehab programs offer a number of benefits to people who have the flexibility (or lack of obligations) to deal with the stringent restrictions:

  • Residential inpatient rehab treatment is highly structured, focusing on all aspects of a patient’s addiction, including one-to-one counseling / therapy
  • IPs provide 24/7 care, usually in non-hospital settings, which can be important for those also dealing with mental health issues and past trauma
  • Patients will live with other drug addicts and alcoholics, encouraging a sense of community and fraternity

2. Partial-Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Partial-hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient programs, and outpatient programs are all, fundamentally, outpatient programs, differentiated by their level of intensity.

Partial-hospitalization programs (PHP) provide a highly-structured environment for up to 6 hours a day, while you continue to reside either at home or in sober-living housing.

PHPs allow clients transitioning from an inpatient or a detox program to move into a more flexible program that still offers a high level of structure and support.

3. Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) are treatment programs that do not require detoxification (although this may have happened prior) or round-the-clock supervision.

IOPs enable patients to continue with their normal, day-to-day lives in a way that residential IPs do not.

IOPs are sometimes used in conjunction with inpatient programs as a way of helping clients to transition seamlessly back into their families and communities.

They are designed to:

  • Continue counseling
  • Help establish support mechanisms
  • Assist with relapse management, and
  • Provide further coping strategies, if needed.
Components of drug treatment. Assessment, treatment planning, one-on-one counseling, group counseling, therapeutic activities, nutritional counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, and case management

4. Outpatient Program (OP)

Outpatient programs (OPs) involve a regular appointment schedule, spread throughout the week, and usually provide specific therapies, counseling, or group sessions.

Traditional OPs typically cost significantly less than a residential rehab / IP, because the level of support is less intensive.

Additionally, if it is required, a medically-assisted detox takes place prior to the start of the OP.

Advantages of OPs

  • Patients can continue to live at home, and work or study
  • Teenagers and adolescents continue to have family support
  • Treatment costs are significantly less than an IP
  • Appointments can be highly flexible – either during the day, in the evening, and at weekends

5. Recovery Housing / Sober Living

In the early stages of rehab and treatment from a substance addiction, it can be extremely difficult for many people to fully commit to their recovery while living in their regular home environment.

However, there is an additional facility and service – known as Recovery Housing or Sober Living – available only at a limited number of drug and alcohol rehabs in Arizona, and SpringBoard Recovery is one of these.

Recovery Housing is an excellent resource that provides a structured, supportive, and stable environment.

This type of accommodation is free from the usual stressors, triggers, and temptations, and enables individuals in early recovery to successfully achieve and maintain a substance-free life.

At Springboard Recovery, we offer a unique model that combines our excellent outpatient treatment program with high-quality Recovery Housing accommodation.

Our model provides:

  • A supportive community environment for our clients
  • More personal responsibility and obligations
  • Scheduled Programming
  • Mentorship & Coaching
  • House Rules and personal accountability
  • 12-Step Meetings

Where Can I Find Drug Addiction Treatment Programs in Arizona?

According to the online “treatment locator tool” available from the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), there are 376 drug and alcohol rehab facilities in total located in the state of Arizona, with the majority centered around the cities and major towns, such as Phoenix and Tucson.

Within a 25-mile radius of the center of the city of Tucson, there are:

  • 58 facilities in total providing substance use disorder treatment, all of which offer an outpatient program (OP)
  • 10 facilities providing inpatient programs (IP) / residential rehab for substance use disorder treatment
  • 9 facilities providing on-site substance use disorder detox
  • 4 facilities provide sober living homes, halfway houses, and transitional homes
  • 40 facilities providing telehealth as part of their substance use disorder treatment

Does Health Insurance Cover Tucson Drug Rehab Costs?

As we mentioned earlier, many people are put off going to drug rehab because of the potential costs involved.

However, with health insurance, they already have benefits to at least help cover the costs of addiction treatment.

In fact, the majority of outpatient programs, including intensive ones, are normally covered in full by healthcare insurance.

The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010 under the Obama administration, made it a requirement for everyone in the U.S. to have health insurance.

Importantly, it also made it a legal requirement for health insurance providers to cover the primary costs of treatment for substance use disorders (SUD).

Here’s why:

  • The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, 2008 stipulates that insurance companies cannot discriminate against or deny coverage to individuals with an SUD.
  • In addition to this, the Affordable Care Act, 2010 classified mental health and addiction services as essential health benefits.

Furthermore, if you are concerned about losing your employment because you’re taking time-off to attend addiction treatment, you can relax, too, because there are laws in place to allow you time for treatment and to protect you from any discrimination.

Specifically, the legal statutes of various Acts combine to protect you and your employment status should you wish to seek treatment while remaining actively employed:

Insurance and addiction treatment. Many insurance companies offer full or partial coverage for treatment. Consult yours to see what and how much they'll cover. Some companies only cover certain types of treatment at specific locations. They are usually extremely specific about the length of time they will cover
Insurance and addiction treatment. Many insurance companies offer full or partial coverage for treatment. Consult yours to see what and how much they'll cover. Some companies only cover certain types of treatment at specific locations. They are usually extremely specific about the length of time they will cover

The Dangers of Reduced Tolerance: Overdose Risks During Recovery

During 2020, there were a record number of fatal drug overdoses across the U.S., and here in Arizona, the state was witness to more than most, as year-on-year numbers increased by 33.7%, compared to the U.S. national rate of 29.4%.

It wasn’t just the active drug addicts who suffered an untimely death, but also those in addiction recovery who suffered a drug relapse.

The combination of the increase in potency in many drugs, eg. fentanyl, and the natural reduction in tolerance experienced by those in recovery from drug addiction, proved equally fatal.

What is Substance Tolerance?

Using an addictive drug on a regular basis means the user develops a tolerance to it, as the individual’s brain becomes more responsive to the changes in its state.

Therefore, the user must use more of the substance to achieve a similar effect.

However, if a person then does not use for a while, their tolerance to the drug will decrease, so if they do experience a relapse, exactly the same amount can now potentially lead to an overdose.

Overdose due to this change in an ex-user’s tolerance level is a serious possibility (and a specific and severe risk) for those who haven’t used drugs for a while, whether they’re in recovery and then relapse, or for another reason, eg. they’ve recently been released from prison.

For example, an individual in opioid addiction recovery who has been on naltrexone (an opioid antagonist, which are prescription drugs that block the effects of heroin and other opioid drugs) can be at risk if they use after stopping oral their medication, or when the effects of a naltrexone implant have ceased.

In any event, if a drug overdose is suspected, you must seek medical assistance immediately.

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SpringBoard Recovery: Finding Your Freedom from Addiction

At SpringBoard Recovery, we know that recovering from a drug or alcohol use disorder is an exceptional challenge.

We understand that finding your own freedom and breaking away from a substance addiction can also feel like a frustrating and lonely experience for our clients.

When you seek your addiction recovery with us, you will be supported and accompanied through the entire process.

Rest assured that we work hand in hand with you, your loved ones, and your support group toward a long-term, sustainable clean and sober life for you.

We will proactively help you to regain your mental, physical and spiritual health at every step along the way.

Call us now and let your recovery begin today.

Your health insurance plan may cover your recovery at SpringBoard. Verifying your insurance is quick and easy!

Tucson Drug & Alcohol Rehab: Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

An intensive outpatient treatment program (IOP) offers a level of care that many experts believe is similar to inpatient programs.

However, unlike a residential rehab, when you choose to go to an IOP, you can continue to live at home while you get the treatment you need.

One of the biggest complaints people have about going to rehab is the lack of flexibility.

IOPs solve this problem because appointment schedules are highly flexible - in the evenings, or at the weekends, allowing people to continue to work, attend school or take care of their children during the day.

IOPs offer several different types of therapy, including individual and group sessions, and medication management services.

Clients attend appointments several times a week, typically for around 12-16 weeks.

2. Should I Choose an IOP or an Inpatient Rehab Program (IP) in Tucson?

Considering the fact that IOPs and inpatient rehab programs offer levels of care that are quite similar, it can be hard to choose between them. Both offer several important benefits, and it really depends on what professional advice you have been given, and what will work best for you.

You may choose an inpatient rehab center if you:

  • Live in a place that is not recovery-oriented. It may be difficult for you to abstain from using drugs or alcohol if others in your home are not on board.
  • Have never been through any type of drug rehab in the past.
  • Have a history of relapsing, which puts you at risk of overdose.
  • Are not 100% motivated to stop using drugs or alcohol, and you know you will need considerable support.

An intensive outpatient program might work best for you if you:

  • Have already completed an inpatient rehab stay.
  • Have gone through drug and alcohol detox, so withdrawal symptoms are no longer an issue.
  • Live in a sober living home, and need a higher level of care as you continue recovering from addiction.
  • Live with supportive friends or family who want you to succeed in your recovery.
  • Are unable to commit to an inpatient program because of your work or school schedule, or because of other responsibilities at home.

3. How Many Addiction Treatment Centers Does Tucson Have?

According to the SAMHSA treatment locator tool, there are 33 drug and alcohol treatment programs within 5 miles of Tucson, and:

  • 8 offer detox services
  • 4 are sober living homes
  • 22 offer telemedicine services
  • 28 are outpatient facilities
  • 5 are residential treatment programs

4. How Do I Find The Drug Rehab Program That’s Right For Me?

When you are searching for a professional rehab facility, it can be hard to know what to look for. With so many different options available to you, how can you tell which ones are the best?

There are several ways to navigate these options, and we always provide the following recommendations:

  • Make sure you talk with the staff at the rehab before you make a commitment. You want to make sure that you are working with a treatment program that has a physical address as, unfortunately, there are a lot of rehab scams online.
  • Look for accreditation from The Joint Commission. You should find it prominently displayed on a rehab center’s website. This proves that they offer a high level of care.
  • Choose a rehab program that is in-network with your health insurance plan. This will cut down on your out-of-pocket costs, and make going to treatment a lot more affordable for you.
  • Pick a treatment center that maintains a smaller patient/client population. This will ensure that you get enough time with the staff, and you feel like your needs are being met.
  • Find a rehab that offers treatment for co-occurring disorders. Around half of everyone who has a substance addiction also has a mental health issue that is contributing to it. It is important for them to be treated appropriately and simultaneously, because that will increase your chances of being successful long-term.

5. Will My Health Insurance Cover the Cost of Substance Addiction Treatment in Tucson?

If you have health insurance, then you automatically have benefits and coverage that will pay for at least some part of your addiction recovery and treatment. This is mandated under the Affordable Care Act, which became law in 2010.

In the past, many people did not have substance abuse treatment benefits as a part of their health insurance plans. If they needed help, they had to either pay for it themselves or find free rehab options near them.

We cannot tell you how much your policy will pay toward rehab without first verifying your insurance.

Once we are able to do that, we will then work hard to maximize your benefits, so that you pay as little as possible. Many people find that their outpatient treatment is covered in full.

6. How Do I Know I Need to Go to Drug & Alcohol Rehab?

People with drug and alcohol addictions should seriously consider going to rehab to get the help they need.

However, not everyone knows that they are addicted. If you are in any doubt, please see your family physician or an addiction specialist.

Remember, you may have a drug or alcohol addiction if you:

  • Work hard to keep your substance abuse a secret from the people you care about.
  • Think about using drugs or alcohol almost all of the time.
  • Find it hard to stop using, even though you may really want to.
  • Have been told by your loved ones that you should consider going to rehab to get help.
  • Have found that using drugs or alcohol has taken over your life.

External Sources:

  1. U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). “One Pill Can Kill” Media Toolkit. 2021. Available at DEA.gov.
  2. Pima County Health Department. Pima County Monthly Surveillance Report, 2021 – Fatal Overdoses – Review Period: January through June. July, 2021. Available at Pima.gov.
  3. U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. Provisional Drug Overdose Death. October, 2021. Available at CDC.gov.
  4. Arizona Health Care Costs Containment System. Arizona 2018 Statewide Substance Use Prevention Needs Assessment. September, 2018. Available at AzaHCCCS.gov.
  5. Pima County Health Department. Arizona Youth Survey (2014). 2014. Available at Pima.gov.
  6. CODAC Health, Recovery & Wellness. Crisis Support. 2021. Available at CODAC.org.
  7. Arizona Complete Health. Crisis Intervention Services. 2021. Available at AzCompleteHealth.com.
  8. Arizona Complete Health. Crisis Intervention Services. 2021. Available at AzCompleteHealth.com.
  9. Arizona Complete Health. Suicide Prevention Program. 2021. Available at AzCompleteHealth.com.
  10. Southern Arizona Children’s Advocacy Center (SACAC). Resources for Parents. 2021. Available at CACSOAZ.org.
  11. Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault (SACASA). Support for Survivors of Sexual Assault, Rape and Harassment in Southern Arizona. 2021. Available at SACASA.org.
  12. Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse. Home * Emerge. 2021. Available at EmergeCenter.org.
  13. U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). “One Pill Can Kill” Public Safety Alert. 2021. Available at DEA.gov.
  14. National Drug Intelligence Center. Arizona Drug Threat Assessment: Cocaine. December, 2003. Available at Justice.gov.
  15. Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS). Adult Use of Marijuana. 2021. Available at AZDHS.gov.
  16. Dual Diagnosis. Guide to Drug Detox. March, 2021. Available at DualDiagnosis.org.
  17. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Delirium Tremens June, 2021. Available at NLM.NIH.gov.
  18. Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Treatment Locator: Map. 2021. Available at SAMHSA.gov.
  19. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Prescribing Opioid Replacement Therapy. August, 2021. Available at NLM.NIH.gov.
  20. National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA): Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition) – “Evidence-Based Approaches to Drug Addiction Treatment.” January, 2018. Available at DrugAbuse.gov.
  21. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs: Assessing the Evidence. December, 2017. Available at NLM.NIH.gov.
  22. HealthCare.Gov. Affordable Care Act (ACA). 2021. Available at HealthCare.gov.
  23. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, 2008. 2021. Available at CMS.gov.
  24. American With Disabilities Act (ADA). Homepage. 2021. Available at ADA.gov.
  25. U.S. Department of Labor. Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). 2021. Available at DoL.gov.

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